Fans Reproducing Lakeside Winds on Sale
TOKYO (AP) _ Japanese manufacturers are competing with low-cost imported electric fans by introducing new models designed to produce breezes almost identical to natural winds off lakes and mountains, company officials said Thursday.
About 4 million electric fans are sold in Japan each year, and low-cost products made in other Asian countries such as Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea currently account for about 20 percent of the market, said Kazue Noguchi of Toshiba Corp.
Ms. Noguchi said Toshiba’s latest model, put on sale this summer, is designed to reproduce the breezes off a lake and hills in Nagano, a Japanese summer resort northwest of Tokyo.
She said Toshiba measured the wind patterns in Nagano and programmed them into a microcomputer built into the fan.
″Natural breezes, which widely vary in strength, are the most comfortable. Our fan produces breezes almost identical to the natural ones,″ she said.
Ms. Noguchi said people tire of breezes which blow at a constant level, and prefer those that vary.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., a leading Japanese electronics maker, said it marketed a similar model last summer and had ″a good response.″
Company officials said they studied various natural rhythms such as ocean waves and programmed them into the fan, which can blow with seven different strengths.
Hitachi Ltd. said it has introduced a new model this year which blows ″rhythmical breezes″ with the help of a microcomputer. In addition, the fan is equipped with lamps that can produce four colorations of light to match the mood desired by users.