More than Two Decades of Hand Dryer Innovation

In 1991, Mitsubishi engineers set out to develop a solution to traditional hand dryers. With landfill area scarce in Japan, an effective hand dryer would significantly reduce waste produced from restrooms and help lessen the environmental impact of hand drying. R&D began testing new ideas for high speed hand drying, discovering that a minimum air speed of 134 is needed to blow water from hands. Further research examined nozzle design, angle of air stream, and aesthetic dryer design.


In 1993, the first Jet Towel, JT-16A is released after experimenting with more than 50 different prototypes. Operating at 1600 watts, the first Jet Towel introduces the world to the concept of dual-jet hand drying, but operates at an uncomfortable 71 dB.

The JT-16A

Feedback on this new hand dryer comes pouring in and engineers soon produce an improved model, the JT-16B. At only 900 watts, the new Jet Towel drastically reduces sound to 65 dB and uses heat from the motor to warm air.

The JT-16B


After two years of gathering feedback and testing new ideas, Mitsubishi releases the 3rd Jet Towel, the JT-16C. Still at 900 watts and 65 dB, the JT-16C improves operating noise by eliminating high frequency sounds and improves water flow to the drain tank.

The JT-16C


In response to user requests, a thermal storage heater & stand are introduced.


Mitsubishi produces the 4th Jet Towel, the JT-16C3, with updated design and more user features to improve the hand drying experience. Product improvements win the JT-16C3 the Good Design award.



Anti-microbial treatments enter into Jet Towel production with the introduction of the JT-116C4 and the JT-216C4, the first 220 V Jet Towel. New developments drop power consumption to 760 watts.



The rest of the world is introduced to the concept of high-speed hand drying as Mitsubishi launches the Jet Towel in Taiwan and other international markets.


The launch of the JT-SB116D marks the conculision of a long debate between designers and engineers about body shape form versus functionality. A new nozzle design minimizes blowback and a monoform design creates a more attractive dryer while still operating at 760 watts. Markets expand into Europe and further into Asia.

The JT-SB116D


Years of strenuous work to lower operating noise bear fruit with the launch of the JT-SB116EH & the JT-SB116GN, the first Jet Towels to operate under 60 dB. Technological improvements reduce power consumption to 630 watts (1100 with the heater on). A new approach to hand dryer design make use easier and a new basin design facilitates easy cleaning.

The JT-SB116GN wins the Good Design award and the Jet Towel reaches North America.

The JT-SB116EH


Based on user feedback from North America, the JT-SB116EH-G-NA is released for exclusive distribution in North America. UL certification and a new silver color bring the highest in safety and appearance to restrooms. A preference for heated air sets the factory default to high-speed heated air at 1060 watts.



20 years after introducing the Jet Towel in Japan, the JT-SB116JH launches in North America. A more modern design and smaller body type meet stronger air velocity and quieter operations.

More powerful air velocity brings power consumption to 1250 watts (730 without heat) and new nozzle design lowers noise to 61 dB. A larger hand drying and special sensors for children help people of all ages and sizes use the Jet Towel easily.


Mitsubishi launches a white color option of the popular Jet Towel Slim Series in the US to match more restroom finishes.

After many years of success in Japan, the Jet Towel Mini reaches US shores, bringing Mitsubishi's quality and performance to a smaller, more cost-effective dryer.


Mitsubishi launches the Jet Towel Smart, a highly durable small-sized dryer for restrooms that need a tough dryer. A single sheet of high-speed air blows water away from the user while keeping sound to a minimum.

Mitsubishi releases version 9 of the Slim, further reducing sound levels to just 59 dB on High speed and 56 dB on Standard. The design also incorporates a slight bevel to the front edge to deflect cleaning carts or luggage.