When James Dyson took the stage on Wednesday night to introduce his new Dyson vacuum cleaner and space heater, he did so with an opening line for the ages:
"I want you to forgive my fascination with balls," he said.
At an event in New York City the British inventor, entrepreneur and commercial pitchman James Dyson unveiled two new products from his namesake company: his latest vacuum, the ball-based DC41 Animal; and the the Dyson Hot bladeless fan with heating capabilities, an update to the Dyson Air Multiplier standard bladeless fan.
Though only the vacuums feature balls (for now), Dyson told The Huffington Post that his passion for balls was aroused by his early work with them, and the utility of balls in general:
It just so happens that I did a wheelbarrow that was on a ball, instead of a wheel, and the reason I put it on a ball was so that it didn't sink into soft ground. And then I went off and did vacuum cleaners and so one of my engineers said, 'Why don't we do balls?' because it will be much easier to maneuver, on a ball, for the vacuum cleaner. So in my life it just seems that balls keep appearing as these sort of salient features.
The ball is certainly the salient feature on the DC41 Animal, the newest vacuum from Dyson's flagship line. Developed by a team of 70 engineers, the DC41 rotates on one of Dyson's patented spheroids for "tighter turns around furniture and fixtures," according to a press release. The big innovation in this model is that the DC41 automatically detects when the vacuum switches from carpet to hardwood floor, so that it changes the position and suction of the baseplate without scratching up the wood or ripping up the carpet in the process. In typical geeky vacuum-speak, Dyson explained, "The bigger the gap between cleaner head and floor, the more suction power is wasted. By engineering a base plate that adjusts automatically, air leaks are reduced, maximizing the machine's performance."
The ball-less Dyson Hot, meanwhile, has been "engineered to heat the whole room faster than any other." With the ability to set temperature anywhere between 32 degrees Fahrenheit(!) and 99 degrees Fahrenheit(!!!), the Dyson Hot is constantly detecting the temperature of the air it sucks in from around it to check whether or not the room has reached its target temperature. The Hot looks very similar to the Dyson Air Multiplier, the circular, strange-looking bladeless fan, only the hot trades the circle for an ovular shape.
The DC41 Animal vacuum will retail for $599; the Dyson Hot will set you back $399.
Below, check out some photos I took at the Dyson product launch of both the new Dyson Hot and the DC41 Animal, including plenty of pictures of balls and the inside of Dyson's balls. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go, because I am apparently 14-years-old.