Vacuum cleaner manufacturer Dyson has launched what it claims is the biggest change to vacuum cleaners since it introduced bagless technology 12 years ago.
The company has invented a machine with a single ball-shaped wheel designed to make it far easier to maneuver round furniture and other obstacles. Owners can change direction with a small turn of the wrist rather than having to use the push-pull method needed with conventional upright cleaners.
The new machine, known as The Ball, will sell for 320 to 350 pounds (approx. U.S. $612 to $670), depending on the exact model, making it Dyson's most expensive vacuum cleaner.
The Ball, or DC15, has 182 patents and is the result of 3 years worth of work by around 350 scientists and engineers at Dyson's research and development centre in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.
"It's dead easy to use," James Dyson, founder of the company, said. "People who have tried it are amazed at how it goes exactly where you want it to with the twist of the wrist."
And justifying the price tag, he said: "People are paying more because there is much more technology but it will enable them to do the some cleaning jobs much quicker. I would say it makes cleaning 30 percent quicker, but it depends on the individual."
He also quoted from research the company had done, suggesting there was an added incentive for women.
"If a couple buy a Dyson, the man is 45 percent more likely to do housework than normal," Mr. Dyson said.
The single wheel on the new DC15 is reminiscent of another of Mr. Dyson's earlier inventions - the Ballbarrow wheelbarrow.
It retains the same Dual Cyclone technology, in which the traditional bag has been replaced by two cyclone chambers that do not clog with dust. After the outer cyclone has spun out the larger dust and dirt particles, the inner cyclone accelerates the air still further to remove the minute particles.
The DC15 has two stabilizing wheels at the back that come down at the push of a button to keep the machine steady while owners use the attached hose for cleaning hard-to-reach areas such as stairs.
The new machine is due to go on sale in the UK this month and is expected to be rolled out to other countries. Mr. Dyson said there was a chance the company's other upright cleaners would have the single wheel design in future. (Manchester News)
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