We thought this was an early April Fool's gag, but it appears to be real. Dyson has announced the Zone, a set of noise-canceling headphones with a sort of mandible that covers your mouth.
That mandible delivers purified air, sucked in from the headphones and filtered, into the vicinity of your mouth. "And unlike face masks, it delivers a plume of fresh air without touching your face, using high-performance filters and two miniaturized air pumps," the company writes.
They don't refer to the mouth-covering extension as a mandible; instead they're calling it a "visor."
"Developing a non-contact solution was a must for Dyson engineers, to avoid the discomfort and irritation often associated with full-contact alternatives. The visor, therefore, was a critical element. The airflow pathways and visor design are central to delivering pure air. The geometries of the visor and the visor returns, alongside the central mesh that diffuses the two jets of airflow, ensure that the purified air exiting the filters is effectively delivered to the nose and mouth in crosswinds, and for the wearer's specific facial shape."
As for how it works:
"The compressors in each earcup draw air through the dual-layer filters and project two streams of purified air to the wearer's nose and mouth, channelled through the non-contact visor. Sculpted returns on the visor ensure the purified airflow is kept near to the nose and mouth and diluted as little as possible by external crosswinds."
And yes, they claim these are legit headphones with good audio quality and noise-canceling tech:
"The Dyson Zone™ delivers rich, immersive audio and relief from unwanted city noise thanks to advanced active noise cancelling (ANC), low distortion and a neutral frequency response, to faithfully replicate music or audio as the creator intended."
Dyson says the concept took six years and numerous prototypes to realize.
Here's the development story:
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At press time, prices and a release date had not yet been announced.