In October 2009, James Dyson's consumer electronics company, famous for its line of vacuum cleaners, introduced a new device to the market called the Dyson Air Multiplier. The Air Multiplier is a fan with an unusual characteristic: It doesn't have any visible blades. It appears to be a circular tube mounted on a pedestal. The shallow tube is only a few inches deep.
Looking at the device, you wouldn't expect to feel a breeze coming from the mounted circle. There are no moving parts in sight. But if the fan is switched on, you'll feel air blowing through the tube. How does it work? How can an open circle push air into a breeze without fan blades?
As you might imagine, there are a few scientific principles at play here. There's also an electronic element. While the tube doesn't have any blades inside it, the pedestal of the fan contains a brushless electric motor that takes in air and feeds it into the circular tube. Air flows along the inside of the device until it reaches a slit inside the tube. This provides the basic airflow that creates the breeze you'd feel if you stood in front of the fan.
According to Dyson, the breeze generated by the Air Multiplier is more consistent and steady than one from a standard fan with blades. Since there are no rotating blades, the breeze from the fan doesn't buffet you with short gusts of air.
What's the secret behind the technology?