NineSigma, representing an American publicly traded designer, developer and worldwide marketer of consumer brand-name beauty products, is seeking proposals for developing and/or adapting technologies to create a low noise, quiet hair dryer for at-home, consumer use. Solutions can include methods of quieting the motors and/or fans used in hair dryers, or completely new methods of quiet drying that can be applied to a handheld hair dryer.
Handheld hair dryers for consumer use require the ability to quickly dry wet hair, typically with a combined mechanism to direct heat to a focused space and with airflow to facilitate both drying and styling. Motor and fan assemblies move heat from the heating element through the body of the dryer to focus the heat and airflow to a narrow section of hair.
Noise from a hair dryer is due to the design of the motor, fan, housing, vibration, or any combination of these factors. The noise level is often intensified by the use of the hair dryer in a small, enclosed space (bathroom).
Typical variables/components that influence hair dryer noise include:
- Motors, fans, or the combination of motor + fan
- Dryer nozzle or shroud: materials and design affect noise level
- Frequency of the sound generated by hair dryer or its components
- Speed of operation (most often the hair dryer is used at its highest heat and airflow setting)
- Environment in which the hair dryer is commonly used, such as a bathroom
Any solution (or combination of technologies) that can reduce the noise by 20-30dBA is of interest, for example:
- New motor technology, quiet motor design
- Motor + Fan assembly innovations or alternatives
- Fan designs that have good airflow performance but do not produce a lot of noise.
- Heating mechanisms that enable a better sound-dampening design (and that won’t damage hair)
- Design and materials of hair dryer or components
- Passive sound deadening technology
- Novel approaches for drying hair, with or without a styling/air flow component, are also of interest.
Test for measuring sound in consumer hair dryers:
- Sound readings in dBA are taken from 3 mutually perpendicular axes 6 inches from the center of the grill, at the inlet of the dryer
- With the same microphone locations, measure the 1/3 octave band spectrum to calculate sones.
Licensing, product acquisition, contract research, proof of concept leading to scale-up to manufacturing, joint development, supplier agreement.
Phase 1 – Feasibility evaluation, proof of concept
Phase 2 – Technology adaptation/optimization
All terms to be negotiated between the Solution Provider(s) and the Client sponsor, as warranted.