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BRIAN WATT: You know those air dryers in a lot of public restrooms? They're a little slow and annoying, right? Well, the same guy who brought us the bagless vacuum cleaner has a new invention. British entrepreneur James Dyson says his new hand dryer will revolutionize the restroom experience. Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports.
STEPHEN BEARD: Dyson demonstrates "The Airblade" which, he claims, will dry wet hands in 10 seconds flat.
JAMES DYSON: And then your hands are perfectly dry.
Conventional hand dryers blow hot air and evaporate the water. Dyson says the Airblade takes a different tack.
With a motor spinning five times faster than a Formula One engine, the Airblade blasts the hands with cold air.
DYSON: Air comes out of there at about 400 miles an hour. And it's that extremely powerful, very, very thin . . . It's only about 0.3 of a millimeter, the thickness of a hair. But it actually feels rather nice. And it wipes the water off your hands.
This, claims Dyson, is four times faster than rival machines and therefore more hygienic.
But Dyson's launch has been overshadowed by a competitor protesting that Airblade isn't new or unique. He says his dryers use the same principle and have been selling steadily for more than four years.
In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.