Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Dyson to use AR, smarts to turn iPhone into vacuum guide

Have you ever wondered whether you could do a better job vacuuming? A little gadget on the way for Dyson owners with a recent iPhone could let you find out.

Every time we’re finished cleaning, there’s always this vibe that we could have done a better job. Never mind that there’s a green light at the end of our vacuum head telling us where all the dust is, we can’t shake that feeling.

It could be because there’s a dog in the house that’s always shedding, or it might even be that we’re just not vacuuming in the most effective and efficient way.

While the former isn’t easy to fix (hairy dogs are going to have hair), the latter might have a fix on the way, provided you have a recent Dyson vacuum and a fairly recent iPhone, too.

Dyson has announced an iPhone holder of sorts for its stick vacs that will let you run an app on a recent iPhone, and have it work out a path that will give you an optimal clean.

The concept is called “CleanTrace”, and it’s a combination of hardware and software; the CleanTrace hardware is a phone holder that clamps to the stick in the Dyson Gen5detect vacuums, while the software is an app that will open via the MyDyson app, appearing on the iPhone.

Dyson notes the technology will only work initially for its Gen5detect models, which are among its most recent though aren’t the same as the V15 models, we’re told. The company notes that the Gen5 is its most advanced model, so it’s starting there, but could release support for other models down the track.

Apparently, you’ll need to register that model of vacuum in the MyDyson app for the module to become available, and when it does, you’ll be able to jump into the CleanTrace feature, which will work as a form of augmented reality.

Simply put, the feature will allow an iPhone to recognise the head you’re using on the vacuum cleaner, and then use a combination of LiDAR from the phone and cameras to map the room, providing a path to improve cleaning.

The inspiration for the concept comes from Dyson’s 360 Vis Nav, the company’s robotic vacuum with a camera built in, which uses algorithms and augmented reality to chart a path of cleaning as it works.

“We realised that we could all learn a thing or two from the methodical cleaning approach of our robot vacuums,” said Charlie Park, Vice President of Engineering at Dyson Home.

“Unlike most humans doing the cleaning, Dyson robots know where they are in the room, where they have been, and where they have yet to go,” he said.

“With the Dyson CleanTrace, we add this extra layer of cleaning intelligence to the Gen5detect vacuum. It gives you the ability to see where you have and haven’t cleaned, which, combined with our on-board particle sensing technology, gives proof that the floor is truly clean.”

You will need a specific generation of iPhone to make this work, however, with only the “Pro” or “Pro Max” models supported here. The use of LiDAR for mapping means only the high-end iPhones will work, covering the:

Either way, it’s an interesting concept, and one that won’t cost Dyson owners too much, with the CleanTrace hardware expected to cost $29 in Australia when it launches in June.

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