• $1150

Six Months Overdue, Dyson’s Home Cleaning Robot Finally in Tokyo’s Stores

Although it was unveiled over a year ago – in Tokyo by James Dyson himself – and was to be available exclusively in Japan sometime in Spring 2015, the highly anticipated Dyson 360 Eye robo-vacuum has only in the past few days been given a wide release (other markets to follow in 2016).
Dyson’s been making vacuum cleaners for over 20 years, but this is the British firm’s first proper venture into autonomous home service robotics (though they’ve done their research and have tried before; Google the “DC06”). With advanced room mapping capabilities, track-driven multi-surface mobility, and smart device connectivity all wrapped around Dyson’s trademark super-cyclone suction, the 360 Eye is billed as a considerable leap ahead of the competition. It is an impressive machine, and at ¥138,000 plus tax (~$1,150), it most definitely should be.

The rationale behind the delay is: they saw need to make the machine quieter, increase battery life, and fine-tune ledge avoidance, particularly in Japanese homes. That last part is important because of genkan, the main entryways of Japanese homes that are lower than the main floor by a non-standard, case-by-case-variable height. Tightening up that feature was a must for the Japan-first launch.

And there’s another, equally practical reason that the quality of the final product mattered a lot more than adhering to an anticipated Spring 2015 launch: for more than a decade, American firm iRobot, with their tried and true Roomba, has utterly dominated Japan’s home robo-cleaner sector, and to break into that market, the 360 Eye can’t be simply “Good enough.” If Dyson hopes to compete, they have to come with a fully realized, demonstrably superior product that hasn’t retreated from the promises of last year’s debut.

360 Eye Vital Specs:
Dyson 360 Eye: Sixteen Years of Research; $47 million Investment
Super Cyclone Suction Tech: Miniaturized and Incorporated
Navigation & Mapping: Innovative 360-Degree Visual Mapping
App Enabled: Remotely Activate/Schedule Cleanings from iOS or Android
Means of Mobility: Charmingly Purple Tank Tracks (carpet, hard surfaces, and obstacle negotiation)
Color Variations: Fuchsia; Blue
Dimensions: Width 242 × Depth 230 × Height 120mm; 2.37kg
Price: ¥138,000 plus tax (~$1,150)
Availability: Japan Only (now), Other Markets (sometime in 2016)

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