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Revealed: the new Dyson… er… thing?

New Dyson invention teaser image

Dyson’s teasing its newest invention. But the dazzling array of metal tubes, plastic things and circular doohickeys in its teaser video don’t give much away. What do you think it might be, and what do you want it to be?

Dyson’s well known for bringing innovation to existing products. Sir James Dyson himself invented bagless cyclonic vacuums, the latest being the DC47 and DC50.

But moving away from vacs, the company’s Airblade hand dryers are now a common sight in public facilities. We’ve also seen washing machines with contra-rotating drums and the Dyson Ballbarrow – a wheelbarrow with the Dyson Ball.

What will Dyson come up with next?

That’s the key question Dyson’s PR is posing to the world in the teaser video the company’s put together to taunt us.

The video itself shows a number of ambiguous elements: tough looking metal tubes, a circular axle/gear-like component, and after 13 seconds there’s the laser-cutting of a logo. This is handily obscured by the light gleaming off the tube it’s being cut into. Does that mean it’s an update of something already available? Or will the logo give away what it might be?

So what do you reckon it is?

Guesses around Which? HQ have been all over the place. Some think it’s some sort of new tumble dryer, others think it’s a lawnmower. One colleague even said it might resemble a car, though the odds are pretty long on that one. The only information that we do know for sure is that this has been in development for three years, it’s been worked on by 125 Dyson engineers and it has cost a cool £40m.

Whatever it is, we’ll be covering the launch next Tuesday 5 February. We’ll be sure to update this post with whatever we find there.

However, before we report back, we want your guesses as to what it might be. Also, if you had a say in what Dyson made next, what would you want it to be?

[UPDATE 5 Feb 2013] – Dyson has revealed its new creation. The company has redesigned its digital motor and put it into three appliances – a new version of the existing Airblade hand dryer, a brand new hand dryer called the Airblade V and the Airblade tap – a tap that also dries your hands. Are you blown away?

Comments

It’s an appliance for inducing yawns. If I were you, Adrian, I wouldn’t gratify their posturing by covering their “launch” – there must be something more worthwhile to be done on behalf of Which? subscribers next Tuesday. Send an apology for absence – say you will be doing the hoovering. Do I care what Dyson does next? Not a lot.

Thanks for the comment John. However, as far as Which? covering these launches – this will be a product consumers and thus Which? members will want to buy, and so we want to see whether it’s something worth spending their money on. If it’s a new type of product, we may test it in our labs. If it’s a new version of an existing product, like a vacuum, we’ll test it alongside all the others to see if it meets our standards.

Phil says:
2 February 2013

Yes, my thoughts exactly. Whatever it is it won’t live up to the hype, nothing ever does, and Which? should be a bit more careful about being swept along with it.

Phil says:
2 February 2013

Oh and Dysons “Airblade” hand driers are just as useless as the ordinary type.

Disagree with you on the Airblade, Phil. I think they are brilliant. Quick high-tech way to dry your hands.

Steve earle says:
29 March 2013

Phil
Why the put down of the Airblade ? I guess you’re anti Apple too – I see the same misinformed comments about them as well

Anthony Foster says:
31 March 2013

I disagree about the Airblade – it is extremely efficient at drying better than any other that I have u Well done again Dyson!

To say something positive, all Dyson cleaners apart from handheld models come with a five year parts and labour guarantee. All appliance manufacturers should be doing this. In the early days, Dyson cleaners were unreliable and Which? only started including them as Best Buys when the guarantee period was extended.

It’s good that an innovative British-based company is successful, though I hate the hype. So far I have not bought any Dyson products.

Unlike Phil, I think the Airblade hand driers are an effective product. Maybe someone will work out that it is not healthy to have high velocity air spreading bugs from people’s hands around the room but we now have other brands that do the same.

I forgot to say that I guess that the product will be something for use in the kitchen. Many people spend a vast amount of money on kitchen refurbishment and are prepared to pay a fortune for appliances and gadgets. And it will have a nice logo that took quite a long time to produce.

My guess is it is a paint stripper.

Totally off topic here, but you have hit one of my favourite topics wavechange.
Is it not time the 1 year statutory guarantee was upped to at least 3 years on non passive, and at least 5 years for passive (non wearing) electrical goods and electronics. There is really little reason why anything should fail in this time.

Brian – It is interesting that the larger Dyson cleaners have a 5 year guarantee, whereas it is only 2 years for handheld vacs and fans. Having a longer warranty effectively forces manufacturers to produce shoddy goods made with poor components because they have to meet the cost of repair. Though I have never bought any Dyson products it was their introduction of longer guarantees that has convinced me that it’s a good idea, especially since it is so difficult to pursue a claim under the Sale of Goods Act. Malcolm R has also been pushing for longer guarantees.

Manufacturers also have rights, so deserve protection from claims for consumers who abuse (including over-use) products.

I did say on non-wearing parts.
A component is less likely to fail if it is on 24/7 than it will being switched on and off at regular intervals. Don’t try that at home though, the electricity is expensive.
On a motor for example the bearings and armature have a finite life (3 years is fair) , the field windings should last forever.

Brian – Well designed electronic equipment should not be affected by regular switching. Motor bearings do have a finite life but that can be many years. Washing machine bearings and fan oven motors often have a short life because of the conditions they operate under.

One of Dyson’s achievements has been to develop a brushless DC motor, which eliminates problems of brush and commutator wear. Brushless DC motors have been around for decades but I had not encountered them in domestic use until Dyson came along.

I never saw the Dyson washing machine, which had large contrarotating double-drums. Which? was complimentary about the machine (if not filled to capacity), but not the price. It seems unlikely that the new Dyson product is a washing machine, but since Dyson have shifted production to Malaysia, production costs could be cheaper.

Computer fans have been electronically commutated for many years now, same thing, different scale. I think hybrid car and other traction motors would have to be also, they are just so much more efficient and reliable. Model aircraft motors are a good introduction.
I am pleased to learn Dyson use them though, it is about time they turned up in car fans and windscreen wipers too.

Apart from elimination of brush and commutator wear, electronically commutated motors can run at very high speed. Dyson motors can exceed 100,000 rpm, the sort of speed that I’ve only met in specialised laboratory ultracentrifuges. For a vacuum cleaner, a high power to weight ratio is important.

So Dyson has experience with blowing and sucking air, high speed motors and washing machines.

Maybe a whisk to make a soufflé in seconds.

Air bearings are used in very high speed motors to avoid frictional losses and wear. Dyson has looked at air bearings but dismissed them as inappropriate for products that stop and start.

I cannot think of any domestic product requiring a very high speed motor that runs continuously, even though there are commercial and laboratory applications.

Dyson is obviously a talented innovator but I went off him years ago when he relocated production from the UK to the far east. Many UK jobs lost be he still advertises his products as British. And besides that his products although clever are expensive and do the basic job required no better than say a vacuum bought in a supermarket for a fifth the price.
I consider Dyson products akin to nuclear powered potato peelers, very clever but expensive and unnecessary.
A career spent in manufacturing has taught me that simple is always best and cheapest. No need to reinvent the wheel. Dyson’s talent should be looking toward areas where some real benefit can be gained, rather than in areas where cheap simple existing products do the job just fine.

I am not certain, but I think you will find that Dyson operated in Europe long before he came back to UK.
Having been rejected by UK manufacturers I doubt if he feels much loyalty to his home country.
As ye sow, so shall thee reap. Or some such.

Its obvious we should buy cheaper foreign brands as what has Dyson ever done for the UK?
http://www.jamesdysonfoundation.co.uk/
http://www.fastcodesign.com/1670934/why-james-dyson-invested-8000000-in-a-student-incubator#1

Ok so he has a T/O of one billion punds and pays tax in the UK …
“The British firm now sells more than 80 per cent of its machines – which also include hand dryers and fans – outside the UK. Founder James Dyson, who is now chief engineer, said: “We haven’t been afraid to take a risk, doubling our engineering team during a recession.

“The swelling ranks are working on new technology that is five or ten years away, as we plough our profits back into our lifeblood – R&D.” The firm says it has stayed true to its British roots, ploughing money into development here and paying 88 per cent of its tax in the UK.”

I actually think he has done wonders in shaking up and improving the vacuum cleaner market but what is my opinion against so many.! Continuing to build the machines in the UK at a loss would have seemed bizarre but it was not entirely his fault. The article explains:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/james-dyson-reinvented-the-vacuum-now-he-wants-to-remake-the-economy/article533746/?page=all

Phil says:
2 February 2013

“The firm says it has stayed true to its British roots, ploughing money into development here and paying 88 per cent of its tax in the UK.”

It’d be interesting to know how old that quote is and how much tax Dyson Ltd actually pay as the company is registered offshore and has been the subject of some odd dealings.

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2106379/Offshore-tax-British-engineering-champion-Sir-James-Dyson.html#axzz2JlidOZil

The number of vacuum cleaners that Dyson has sold is testament to the success of the company. The products are designed in the UK, in the same way that Apple designs its products in the US, but both companies manufacture abroad because it is cheaper. I believe that Numatic still manufactures vacuum cleaners in the UK.

The influence of Dyson on cleaner design is very obvious and Dyson has taken legal action over concerns about patent infringement.

Despite the success of Dyson cleaners, some will not buy them because of the cost – either they cannot afford them, don’t want to spend that amount of money or are concerned that the company is overcharging. My reason is that I’m allergic to dust and I want my dust nicely contained in a bag. The cost puts me off too. I am happy to pay Apple prices for computers because I make a lot of use of them but not having children or pets, there is not much work for my cleaner.

I am very interested to see what Dyson comes up with.

Tony says:
2 February 2013

It’ll be another overpriced, useless item that will only appeal to the gullible.

Seems to be a tremendous amount of sour grapes regarding Mr. Dyson and his company.

I think he is an engineering and design genius. And he is the rarity a successful businessman also. I have liked all his products from the Ballbarrow onwards. I have only ever bought the vacuum cleaners [2].

My philosophy has always been always by the best for everyday use machines. I am very pleased when I can do that and buy British – and I do not even mind paying a premium if it is stylish and British.

Steve earle says:
29 March 2013

Sad Tony – how sad

Mum2Xavier says:
3 February 2013

Geez enough with the Dyson bashing!

I personally love Dyson as they have been a god send in our house. I have 2 dogs and a 16 month old.

We also love our Dyson vacuum cleaner and after spending heaps on other crap units, we finally bought a Dyson. It’s 4 years old and we’ve never had an issue with it.

Then along came bubs (very high maintenance would not let me put him down baby) what was I to do? The house would not clean itself. Ta da – enter the Dyson stick vacuum. Voila, issue solved, baby in a baby carrier on my front, as I vacuumed the house.

In our recent 45oC heat (Australia), what other fan could I count on NOT to chop the fingers off my adventurous 16 month old? A Dyson blade less!

Dysons are not for everyone – you pay for the points of differentiation and design aesthetics.

If you don’t like them, don’t buy them, but millions and millions of people can’t be wrong.

Oh and I am dying to know what the new Dyson product will be.

Steve earle says:
29 March 2013

Well said – lets stop the Dyson knocking – it’s the same with the bad press the worlds most successful company gets, ie Apple
Apple are constantly knocked for just doing what they do and doing it well

You are just paying for the Dyson brand name and their advertising.

I have used Dyson vacuums and the plastic feels cheap. The filters need constant washing. I’m so glad I stopped using Dyson and bagless “cyclonic” vacuums and bought a bagged machine.

I see that people get fooled by Dyson’s glossy marketing. It’s only when a product gets used in the real world do you find out if it’s great or a waste of money. No amount of clever advertising will tell you how good or bad a product is in your home.

Joyce Cummings says:
3 February 2013

A rubbish waste disposal unit, to replace the green bins and black plastic bags of rubbish that litter our streets.

Connor says:
3 February 2013

I’m a 5th year MEng product design engineer and have applied to work as a designer at Dyson and hence have been keeping a very close eye on company developments recently.

My guess is a faucet/tap which washes the hands but also dries the hands too. The tubular sections and laser welded fixings would support my claim and the mechanism shown could potentially be used to switch the valve between air/water?

That’s my guess anyway and just for the record, what other British innovators have even come close to the dizzy heights of dyson recently? Very impressive company putting British design and engineering innovation on the map.

Scott says:
4 February 2013

Good intuition, that’s exactly what it is

Musse Pigg says:
8 February 2013

I.m.h.o. British Formula 1 designers & engineers are way ahead of Dyson, in innovation,
I do wish that Dyson would develop & market a really good central vacuum cleaning unit – not the tubing & such, just the ‘collector’.

awmar says:
4 February 2013

A low noise and efficient extractor fan is the elephant in the kitchen. If it were a self-cleaning recirculating type with built-in sump, so much the better. This should mesh perfectly with Dyson’s expertise, so I’m astonished we haven’t yet seen it.

I have pondered the design of such equipment but my brain doesn’t run a fully reliable computational fluid dynamics program. One of the most interesting patented ideas uses the coriolis effect. The biggest Dyson problem is noise: listen to the bagless vacuum cleaner, Airblade or that fan.

If it took 125 engineers and cost 40m to develop, it won’t be a lawnmower! Not unless Dyson wants to go bankrupt.

I’m interested to see what it is, I just hope it’s not something gimmicky along the lines of the bladeless fan.

Personally I like Dyson products. I’d love a stick vacuum but don’t know whether I can justify spending £230 on a product that has a battery that’s likely to only last 2 or 3 years…

Apple used to keep new products secret but no longer manage to do this. Dyson is a much smaller company but it is surprising that we don’t know something about their new product by now.

Robin says:
4 February 2013

Like all Dyson products it will be ludicrously expensive. They’re just not worth the money.

Scott Humphrey says:
4 February 2013

I still remember seeing Sir James Dyson on Blue Peter showing off his revolutionary vacuum cleaner and the struggle he was having selling the idea to the established manufacturers.

I for one are very glad that there are still companies that wish to innovate and flex the boundaries of what is possible with engineering and design. It’s these companies that push their entire industry forward and their innovations that trickle down to cheaper products benefitting everyone. Whilst you may not wish to pay for a Dyson product, you probably have a better product than you would have had otherwise.

Phil says:
5 February 2013

Gimmick!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21323365

An expensive one at that. Might be technologically clever but is there a pressing need for it? Seems to me it’ll just cause longer queues at the basins.

So now we know – it’s a hand-drying tap. No more of my mockery – from an engineering point of view it looks brilliant with an ingenious motor and sophisticated electronics. 210 patents and a stroke of genius.

The eagle-eyed John is right – it’s a very clever looking hand-drying tap. Check out the video from the Dyson team:

Robin says:
5 February 2013

As I thought, rediculously expensive and far too high tech for what it does.

An expensive item made in SINGAPORE!

If it were made here in the UK, it would at least justify the high selling price. But as it’s made in the far East, I just see it as something that’s overpriced, because it’s the Dyson brand name and their fancy advertising which allows it to sell for so much.

Singapore factory wages are every bit as high
as those available in UK.

Phil says:
5 February 2013

According to the ‘Eye Dyson pays his Singapore Design Engineers less than £8,000 pa. The median factory wage is $2,700, the average $4,100.

I generally go to the CIA World Factbook for some pretty incontrovertible
facts as to GDP per head of population (updated) instead of relying on
hearsay which may or may not be accurate enough.