Just seen this on the interwebs Dyson launches the bladeless electric fan
. At first I thought "awesome, that's going to be perfect, no blades=no noise, and the laminar flow will produce less noise than the turbulent flow of bladed fans".
Then I read more, and it turns out there is a DC impeller somewhere in the base, though it is very hard to find any more technical details on how it works exactly. Oh yeah, and it's 300 bucks for the small (10 inch) model. The quoted ~1000cfm for 250mm diameter blows (see what I did there?!) conventional fans out of the water, and it has a "dimmer-switch" style speed control. On paper it looks great, except for the cost...
If anyone fancies buying one and testing airflow and noise, that would be great, cheers!