Dyson has filed a patent for an interesting new wearable gadget and some are predicting it will become the next big trend in health tech.
Dyson is known for its powerful vacuum cleaners and, more recently, its air purification technology and apparently the company has aspirations to weave that technological prowess into a wearable device that doubles as a pair of headphones.
At this point the potential product appears to be in the thought bubble stage, but the company has filed a patent for the idea in the UK, Bloomberg reported this week.
The business publication confirmed the product idea, with people close to the project confirming it would be targeted consumers living in big cities, especially in Asia where air pollution is particularly bad.
The patent was for a “wearable air purifier” with the potential to include headphone capabilities, according to the anonymous sources.
Officially, a Dyson spokesperson said the company “never comments on technology we may or may not be developing.”
A recent study by the World Health Organisation and Berkeley Earth showed that breathing in air pollution in big cities has similarly deleterious health effect to smoking cigarettes. In Kanpur, India — the most polluted city — breathing the outside air amounted to smoking about 7.8 cigarettes a day, in terms of toxins. Comparatively, Australian cities were roughly the equivalent of smoking a third of a cigarette a day.
Since moving aggressively into the air purifier market, Dyson is quick to point out the health problems associated with air pollution.
There are already wearable purifier products on the market that retail mostly in Asia. But quite frankly they look a little ridiculous and most Australian consumers wouldn’t be caught dead wearing such a face or neck gadget in public.
This wearable purifier from company Airvida was promoted on website Groupon in the UK recently.
But some are predicting big things for the wearable air purifier.
Reports about the Dyson patent come just a week after London based research analyst Paul Bremmer wrote a blog post stating: “Wearable air purifiers are the next Fitbit in health tech — and Dyson will lead the way.”
In his article he combined analysis of patent data and the growing scientific research and consumer awareness of the harm caused by air pollution to suggest that wearable air purifiers will become an increasingly popular gadget in the coming years.
“Consumer awareness of air pollution has also been growing through 2018, with stories published on the link between air pollution and cognitive intelligence, air pollution and heart problems, air pollution and asthma, air pollution and dementia, the list could go on,” he wrote.
“With more than 54.5 per cent of the world’s population living in cities, this is a problem faced on a global scale.”
With companies like Dyson keen to push consumer awareness about the harms of air pollution, he thinks consumers have been “primed” to adopt such a device.
“I predict that Dyson will release a wearable air purifier in the next 18-24 months, and that wearable air purification devices will be the next ‘big’ health-tech trend,” he wrote.
In any case, if they do become a thing Australia won’t be the target market. Speaking to news.com.au in August when the company launched its new home air purifiers, Dyson engineer Jessica Rowley noted that bad air quality isn’t a major concern among Australians.
“In China and South Korea there’s a real awareness about the air quality problem,” she said. “But in countries like Australia, there isn’t really that sort of market space where outdoor pollution is really bad.”
Source : https://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/wearables/could-this-really-be-the-next-big-trend-in-health-tech/news-story/1fc8b8354171c1081b7681e50f636188