Lifestyle

The Humble Fan Goes High Tech Too

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Cornell’s new Revo fan (CTF-PD68ECO) is, a cool way to modernise an age-old classic appliance.

What makes it different is that it brings smart features to the table, though stopping short of providing an actual app.

Physically, it’s not what you would expect from a fan. It is circular, but the air flows not from the front of the circle; rather, the air flows from a vent on what we would assume to be the side. What’s also unique is that the fan is significantly smaller than usual and covers an area no larger than its base. It also means that it’s possible to squeeze this fan into tight corners — it measures about 40 cm in diameter — and yet it’s able to rotate and blow air along the entire 90 degrees of space that it occupies. In this respect, it has the compactness of a tower fan and the coverage of a conventional one.

Vent

On top of that, you can get a sense that the designers behind the Revo fan gave the features much thought. Not only can you set it to rotate 90 degrees sideways, but you can also get it to oscillate 90 degrees vertically. The Revo also features a full 360-degree horizontal oscillation so you can even put it in the middle of the room if the occasion deems it necessary; take family gatherings, for example. Additional presets include 60- and 180 degrees rotation, which you can access by toggling through the preset angles available.

The fan’s party trick, however, is an inbuilt body sensor that automatically detects people in the room within two metres of it. The only hassle is that if someone joins in after the fan has been programmed (detected everyone around it), you will need to restart the detection process, which is to press and hold the button for 2.5 seconds. The process is a little on the slow side, but on the bright side, the fan will spend more time on you as opposed to blowing air into space as it makes its way around.

Indicators

We find that the Revo works best in smaller rooms, and fewer people as well (two or three) if you enable the smart body sensor. The other thing is that the fan has a relatively small outlet, compared to a typical blade fan, so the air stream might be a little narrower than you’d expect. This characteristic also implies that it’s not at its best for big parties; that is, if what you are looking for is something to blow a large volume of air around. On the upside, it’s far gentler with not as much buffeting; think of it as somewhere in between a typical fan and a Dyson bladeless.

The auto wind speed feature, which is part of what makes the Revo fan eco-friendly, adjusts wind speed according to room temperature. It switches to low speed when the temperature drops to 25 degrees Celsius and below, goes to medium when between 25 to 29 degrees, and stays on high when above that. Unfortunately, given our warm climate, it’s a feature that you’ll see kicking in only if you use it in an air-conditioned room. Else, you can more or less expect it to be on the highest setting most, if not all, the time.

Buttons

For the most part, the Eco Fan is relatively easy to use. The touch controls are responsive, and the symbols depicting their functions are quite easy to make out. Even if you don’t, you’ll figure it out eventually just by trying them out. You might need to consult the manual when it comes to atypical features like setting the fan to auto-detect the number of people around, but apart from that, the rest is self-explanatory.

The Cornell Revo fan retails for S$199 (U.P. S$259), which makes it pricier than most regular fans, but is within the range of a new breed of fans that offer ‘smart’ features. In the case of the Revo, the options are quite innovative but aren’t critical for many of us. Those with cramped spaces or are host to frequent house gatherings might find this worth a look, though.

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