New Technology: Is It Worth the Hefty Cost?

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Without fail, anytime a juicy bit of new technology hits the market, the exorbitant price tag puts it out of reach for even the middle class Americans. One of the latest inventions, Dyson's air multiplier, is no exception. I saw one for the first time at the mall last weekend, just $ 399.95, when I searched for a better deal on the internet I found them for only $ 329.95 with free shipping. This blade less fan looks like it came right of the set of one of those futuristic sci-fi flicks.

It comes as no great surprise that Dyson would be the one to create this super modern fan, but after revolutionizing the vacuum industry the bag less Dyson Ball, and the hand drying industry with the Dyson Air blade, this fan appears to be somewhat of a let down. While Dyson's other inventions have radically improved the performance over their competition, this fan does not seem to offer a significant improvement over the tried and true versions which have been used since Dr. Schulyer Wheeler, an American engineer who at the age of 22 invented the two bladed electric fan in 1886.

It does have a few redeeming characteristics. It is beautiful; compared to a standard circular fan it is practically a work of art. The thing is unquestionably different, it looks more like an ultra modern sculpture than it does a fan. I could easily picture one sitting on Captain Kirk's desk in his quarters on board the Enterprise. I do like the infinite speed control much better than the pre-programmed speeds you have to choose from on the other fans and it will certainly be easy to keep clean. Also, if you have young kids or pets around, the Dyson fan is unquestionably safer with no spinning blades to damage little fingers or paws.

On the other hand, the Dyson fan is sadly deficient in other areas. The people at Dyson claim that; "The Air Multiplier quietly bathes users in a constant cool breeze." The breeze is smooth and steady, but the 12 inch model puts out no more volume of air than the ten inch fan sitting on my desk. It does not cool the air anymore than a conventional bladed fan and I've had hair dryers that made less noise than it does, in fact, my conventional fan is so quiet that I can barely hear it running at all, a trait that I treasure in my office. So it would seem that the Dyson Air Multiplier falls quite a bit short of accomplishing its boast. Without a doubt, Dyson now has the most ludicrously overpriced fan on the market today, but if you are shopping more for looks than functionality, or if you just happen to be looking for a great conversation piece, then by all means run out and buy you one.

In the past, I have often found myself at odds with the findings of the panelists at Consumer Reports Magazine but in their July 2010 issue they did not give it any more of a thumbs up than I did. In fact, they ended their report by saying, "You'll save a good $ 264.99 by buying a conventional fan."

The sad part is that for the same cost of one Dyson Air Multiplier that will almost cool one person, I can go buy three small window air conditioners and cool three small rooms down close to the temperature of a refrigerator. I for one give my vote to the air conditioners.

Another emerging technology is electro chromic windows or smart windows. With the turn of a switch these windows change from transparent to opaque or shaded by an electric signal. This will make traditional window shades and blinds obsolete. There are several companies offering these windows but they are so expensive that they do not even have price lists. The windows are custom built and the pricing is all done by quotes.

The newest technology always comes with a top heavy price tag and I used to pay it. I remember paying seven hundred and fifty dollars for my first VCR, the last one only cost me a measly sixty nine dollars. When I bought my first Camcorder I shelled out a whopping $ 1400.00, but the one sitting on the shelf in my office right now I paid less than $ 300.00 for and it will run circles around that first antique. My first internet ready computer cost me over two grand, it had a whole ¼ gig hard drive and a whopping 56 megs of ram. My cell phone has more computing power than that computer did and for only a fraction of the cost, not to mention that it will fit into my shirt pocket.

No, I no longer run out and purchase the newest technology when it first comes out, instead, I wait for China to copy and mass-produce it for hundreds of dollars less and anymore, you do not have to wait very long at all to get the cheaper version. I'd be willing to bet that by the time you start thinking about fans in 2011, the Chinese version will be on the market, maybe theirs will even be quieter.

Source by Timothy Everhart


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