This technology is as old as the hills. We made up such a device in, I think it was the ‘80s (and we weren’t the inventors of the principle; it is based on the Coanda effect click here ). It was for controlling the pressure in industrial gas furnaces. We put it on the flue outlet and by “blowing” it back into the furnace, we could raise the furnace pressure. The harder it blew, the higher the pressure. We hooked it up to some control electronics that could maintain the pressure to whatever was required. The advantage was that it was fail-safe; there was no mechanical damper (the usual technology) that could jam closed with disastrous results.
To be fair to Dyson, he takes existing technologies and turns them into consumer products. We have one of his vacuum cleaners (also based on old technology) and are very happy with it (unlike some I know, but you can’t please everybody).
akimo: LOL! I personally have invented a number of industrial devices, and have also worked with teams that have done the same. Such devices have then been licensed to manufacturers for production.
Over the years I have considered “doing a Dyson” (as have many of my colleagues). BUT there is a world of difference between inventing something, and getting it to market, AND making a profit. Indeed I am currently liaising with a group of entrepreneurs who have invented something, and another project with a very large company, who have invented something else (again both examples based on very old technologies). In both cases many £100ks and hundreds of man hours, have been put into the ventures but it is very much 50/50 if they will get anywhere.
This is where I really admire people like Dyson. They get the idea and work at it day and night, mortgage the house, and could lose everything. And with a bit of luck, finally “make it” and become millionaires. I freely admit to being a wimp. I just could not do what these people do.
I quite like watching “Dragon’s Den”. This highlights the difference between the idea and actually making money from it.