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What’s Up With These Flashy Vacuum Cleaners?
For most people, a vacuum cleaner is not really a very inspiring object. Let’s face it, you don’t really care how it works and you probably do not even want to endure the chore of vacuuming in the first place. However, almost everyone who doesn’t want to live in a pig-sty needs one (note: students need not apply!). Recently, however, things have begun to change. People’s attitudes are changing. Vacuum cleaners are becoming interesting and it’s all thanks to a guy called James Dyson, inventor of the Dyson vacuum cleaner.
Thanks to Dyson, vacuum cleaners have taken on a personality and life all of their own. The same tactics employed by the likes of Apple to successfully ply their iMacs and iPods to the mass population (think: design and color) have now been used to great effect in the vacuum cleaner industry. And with the same results; the proliferation of styles, colors and the general level of gadgetry associated with these newfangled vacuum cleaners (the new Dyson DC15 has 182 patents filed for it), not to mention the clean lines and chic design, means that you no longer have to hide it away in the back of a darkened cupboard. It can become a design statement in its own right, and even a topic of conversation at a dinner party. It may be sad, but it’s very, very true. Premium vacuum cleaners, as they’ve become known, are all the rage and models like those in the Dyson range are bizarrely becoming the next “must-have” purchase for the hip-and-trendy crowd!
Let’s break down the decision that faces the would-be purchaser of one of these premium vacuum cleaners. First, you have the choice between the upright or cylinder (canister) versions. The uprights require you to use them in the traditional push-and-pull fashion, although the latest offering from Dyson, the DC15, has even turned this on its head with its “The Ball” technology, which lets it glide effortlessly around your house in any direction you please. The canisters on the other hand come with a hose attachment for greater flexibility and control – you can easily and accurately get into all the hard to reach places. There’s not really much difference between the two and it’s mainly down to personal preference, although the upright vacuum is probably best suited to large carpeted areas.
Second, you should consider the power of the motor and the efficiency of the filtration system. Allergy suffers in particular should pay close attention to the filtration. Dyson has been very successful by marketing the benefits of its patented “Cyclone” technology which does not suffer a deterioration in suction like traditional vacuum cleaners, because there is no bag or filter to get clogged up (which is the main cause of diminishing performance). So, if you’re looking for a vacuum cleaner that will always deliver maximum efficiency, you can’t really go far wrong with a new Dyson like the Dyson D14 or the newer Dyson DC15.
Of course if you are really feeling super adventurous, you want to stay ahead of the curve and you happen to have some spare cash burning a hole in your pocket, you could opt for one of the increasingly popular robot vacuum cleaners such as the ZA01 from Electrolux or the cheaper iRobot from Roomba. While you busy yourself at work all day, this gizmo will scuttle around your house of its own accord, vacuuming it’s little heart out so the place looks spic-and-span for when you get home! It even has the smarts to return to its “base” when it’s running low on battery power in order to recharge itself!
So you see, something that is perceived to be boring – the humble vacuum cleaner – can actually be quite interesting when you look into it. What you may think of as the purchase of a necessary, almost commodity, item can actually turn out to be a technology purchase or a design statement that will keep you way ahead of the curve. I wonder if Daniel Hess, who filed the original patent for the “hoover” back in 1860, had any idea how his invention would turn out 150 years later?