Who Invented the Bladeless Fan


The commercials that are on the television of a fan that propels air without any fans are pretty cool. When you see them in person, it is easy to believe the claims that these fans can move more air around faster for a better cooling experience. According to US patents, the bladeless fan was invented by Sir James Dyson and a group of developers who work for his organization. According to the Chinese, who are also producing bladeless fans, it was an Asian who invented the fan nearly 30 years ago.

Who is right? Who is actually the inventor of the bladeless fan?

The Intellectual Property Office Says It Wasn’t Dyson

The Intellectual Property Office [IPO], which many still call the Patent Office, actually rejected Dyson’s first attempt to patent the bladeless fan because it was too similar to a device that had been patented as a desktop fan in Japan by Tokyo Shibaura Electric in 1981. According to the rules of the IPO, even when a patent expires, it cannot be resubmitted by someone else unless the design has been dramatically improved upon.

What the Dyson bladeless fan offers in comparison to the older design is a Coanda surface. This improves the flow of the air and creates more movement because of the angle of the surface, therefore improving upon the initial Japanese design. It is true that a majority of inventions improve upon old technology to make them new again. In this instance, however, the invention of the bladeless fan goes to a company that is better known as Toshiba today.

What Else Has Toshiba Invented?

A number of the items that we use every day come to us thanks to the innovative minds in the research and development division at Toshiba. Perhaps the most used item today is the Flash memory that is utilized for USB sticks, lightweight computers, and other data storage items. It was initially developed in 1987 and is now part of everything from smart appliances to the MP3 player that you may be listening to right now.

Toshiba was also the first to introduce a laptop that could be mass produced so that the general public could afford it. The first model was essentially a portable word processor with a full keyboard and a small flip-up screen.

The modern color TV is also an innovation of Toshiba’s as they were the first to introduce televisions with black stripe-type cathode ray tubes. The first DVD drive came from this organization and so did the first color laptop screen. All told, Toshiba has been granted over 27,000 individual patents by the IPO in the last 30 years, making this organization one of the most innovative in the world today.

Dyson might have improved upon the bladeless fan and some may call this improvement an invention, but it is Toshiba that invented the first bladeless fan. You can feel the breeze of that contention from here.

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