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Dyson unveiled a robot vacuum called the 360 Eye back in September -- a first for the luxury small-appliance brand. Now Dyson is back with a new first, a humidifier that hits Japanese stores today and costs a whopping 59,800 yen (that's roughly $560 in the US, £350 in the UK, and AU$645 in Australia). This new humidifier, dubbed the Hygienic Mist in Japan, will have a different name when it reaches the US in fall 2015 and the UK and Australia in spring 2015.
Dyson's humidifier is modeled after the same blade-free Air Multiplier-equipped fans and heaters that pepper its existing product lineup; supposedly, it can even double as a fan to deliver cold- and warm-weather benefits (why not a humidifier, a fan and a heater while we're at it?).
So we know it doesn't look like other room humidifiers and can function as a fan too, but Dyson also added a new feature to the mix: ultraviolet light. Dyson says that other humidifiers are flawed. Bacteria can thrive in their water reservoirs to the extent that you're pumping a stagnant, particulate-filled cesspool into your house rather than, you know, clean moistened air. Not ideal.
The ultraviolet tech that's in this model is designed to take care of that problem. It takes a couple of passes at the water, which Dyson says will zap 99.9 percent of bacteria. That's helpful, but this whole thing sure sounds alarmist. Even if bacterial growth is a real concern, couldn't you just buy an inexpensive humidifier like Amazon's top-rated $47.46 (converted, about £29 and AU$54) Crane Drop Shape Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier and be extra-vigilant about cleaning between cycles? Do I really need UV light to keep humidifier pollutants at bay? Dyson sure thinks so.
The humidifier can hold 3 liters of water and can operate for as long as 18 hours before needing to be refilled. It has a remote control that you can use to create sleep timers -- anywhere from 15 minutes to 9 hours -- and to adjust airflow from levels 1 to 10. It also has built-in temperature and moisture sensors.
While I'm not convinced that this product is worth the price, it's clear that it can do a lot more than traditional humidifiers. The fact that Dyson went through 643 prototypes and spent over $60.4 million (roughly £38 and AU$69 million) to develop this thing sure sounds impressive. I guess we'll find out for sure in fall 2015.