May 11, 2022

Dyson reminds us that lasers are cool, leaves rivals in household cleaning tech behind

A few years ago, you probably wouldn’t have imagined a tech-heavy approach to dealing with dust inside your home. For most homes, a rudimentary broom and mop routine was key. For some, there was a fancy upgrade to a vacuum cleaner. Still, the vacuums seem to be stuck in a time warp.

But what could technology do in the simple task of picking up the dust you see and moving it to the trash can? There is a chasm between dust collectors that haven’t evolved over the years and those that have. For this last segment, this last advance quite relevant. British tech company Dyson has done two things with the new Dyson V12 Detect Slim. First, reduce the size and weight. Second, consider Class 1 lasers, sensors that tell you the exact specifics of what’s been collected, and improved filtration.

You would probably have three questions right now. First, how much has been shaved in terms of volume? Second, did it compromise suction power and cleaning performance? Third, are there rivals?

Let’s take this one by one. The Dyson V12 Detect Slim weighs 2.2kg, which is significantly less than its larger siblings – V11 (around 2.9kg) and V10 (around 2.67kg). The immediate benefit is that it will be nimble if you’re looking to clean the upper rungs of a home layout – curtains, shelves, etc. The bin has a capacity of 0.35 litres, which is a bit smaller than the V11’s 0.54 liters – this means it’s better suited to apartments than larger houses, if you’re planning on doing cleaning in one go. Or, you have to empty it, depending on how dusty your home is.

Despite its smaller size, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim retains the same suction power as the larger V10 – 150 air watts versus 151 air watts. The Hyperdymium motor spins at 1.25,000 rpm, or revolutions per minute. The cyclone method of vacuuming dust also has the same capability as its siblings. No compromise on battery life either – up to 60 minutes, and the battery is also easily replaceable.

Now for the cool quotient of lasers. And it really is the party piece of the Dyson V12 Detect Slim. This vacuum comes with a new Laser Slim Fluffy cleaning head, which uses a Class 1 laser to illuminate dust on floors and other surfaces – the kind our eyes can never see, allowing us to live in the illusion that everything around us is clean. The green color laser is mounted on the cleaning head, and it is green in color, something that human eyes work better compared to other colors.

Why aren’t rivals using laser technology in home cleaning gadgets?

The answer is twofold. First, rivals that make vacuums with a similar form factor, such as Prosenic (they have the P11), haven’t reached the stage of product evolution to implement it before Dyson. Second, robot vacuums use lasers, but that’s primarily for navigation and mapping your home’s layout – not for detecting and mopping up dust.

Whichever cleaner head attachment you use, and there are 7 that come in the box, including a new hair screw tool, you’ll be able to take advantage of the piezo pickup. As you vacuum the house, it will constantly keep a log of the size and amount of dust particles. If it detects a lot of dust entry compared to the previous version, it will increase the engine power. And slow it down when the dust density decreases. The circular LCD screen on the back of the cleaner shows you the statistics – exact number of particles of different sizes included.

Aside from the compound tech quotient, there are tweaks that should make it more usable. The new trigger button doesn’t need to be held down while the vacuum is running, but you can’t use it with the same hand that’s holding the Dyson V12 Detect Slim.

Should I buy one? It’s a serious investment for a cleaner home, 55,900. Oddly, it’s the lightest and smallest vacuum in the Dyson range in India, and yet the most expensive. Do whatever you want with it. You do, however, get the most powerful slim and light vacuum cleaner. Add the laser that finds the dust for you and the piezo sensor that does the smart monitoring, and these devices don’t get much smarter than that.

Yes, the battery life will be less if it keeps switching to the most powerful cleaning mode. The thinner, lighter design doesn’t feel as solid as a V11. Still, you’ll likely ignore these weaknesses, for the scavenging prowess this has. The other thing with Dyson vacuums is that they last a really long time, meaning you’ll get value from them for many years to come. Here we are – Dyson’s home cleaning technology still has no real rivals.


    Vishal Mathur is technology editor for Hindustan Times. When he doesn’t understand technology, he often searches for an elusive analog space in a digital world.
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