Dyson’s new vacuum has a laser

This week Dyson announced its V15 Detect cordless vacuum cleaner. The Detect borrows a trick used by furniture makers and plasterboard installers, who use a grazing light to detect tiny particles on the surface. In the Detect, the grazing light comes in the form of a laser that is only a few millimeters from the surface of the floor.

The thought, as one Dyson engineer explained:

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My first thought was, this is an exaggeration. My second thought was:

James Dyson’s first design for a vacuum cleaner had a never-before-seen transparent container. That simple UX idea, that we’d like to be able to see what we’ve sucked in and how much of that, was a big part of the success of the Dyson vacuum (along with tremendous suction).

The original Dyson design was rejected by established manufacturers. “Nobody wants to see the dust,” they said. Then Dyson started his own company, proved them wrong, and is today one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world.

The question is, can that “We want to see” trick be re-implemented? Do customers need, or just want–a better view of what they are aiming for before suck it up?

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