British inventor James Dyson unveiled what he claims is the world's smallest, most powerful -- and possibly most expensive -- vacuum cleaner for the Japanese market.
Mr. Dyson, who developed the bagless G-Force vacuum cleaner, was in Tokyo on May 25 to launch his latest machine, the DC12, which he says was developed specifically with the Japanese consumer in mind.
"Our aim was (the new vacuum cleaner) should fit inside a 200 by 250 by 300-mm cube," he said at a press conference. The new vacuum was designed with a new, miniature motor, a new cyclone system, and new storage system for the hose and wand.
"It is also the first vacuum cleaner to communicate by phone," Mr. Dyson said added. If a mobile phone is held next to the cleaner, the individual serial number and the entire history of the vacuum cleaner can reportedly be downloaded to Dyson's call center.
Priced at between 70,000 yen and 80,000 yen (approx. U.S. $620 to $708), Mr. Dyson claims it is possibly the world's most expensive domestic vacuum cleaner. Gordon Thom, chairman of Dyson's Japanese unit, said that although the new machine cost about three and a half times as much as an average vacuum cleaner, it was justified by the appliance's new technology.
The DC12 has a switch reluctance motor invented by Mr. Dyson, which is said to be half the size and weight of conventional motors, yet produces 50-percent more power. The company claims the centrifugal force generated to separate out dirt and dust as small as cigarette smoke particles without bags or filters is equivalent to 200,000 times normal gravitational pull.
Although the company currently sells only about 25,000 Dyson cleaners a year in Japanese market (which typically sells about 6 million units), Mr. Thom said Dyson hoped to achieve annual sales of around 600,000 units or 10 percent of the market.
The DC12 goes on sale in Japan in June. Although designed exclusively for Japan, Mr. Dyson said it would probably eventually be sold in all 35 countries where the company is present.
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