Dyson reinvents household appliances

From the world’s first bagless vacuum cleaner to a bladeless fan, British electronics company Dyson has continued to introduce unprecedented technological concepts to common devices that have been used in old ways for a long time.

Dyson Engineer Graeme McPherson said the company always starts from grasping problems with existing electronic devices and seeks solutions through technologies.

“Dyson always pushes to solve problems that most people overlook,” the design engineer said in an interview in Seoul, Tuesday. “We are working to develop technologies about what used to be impossible and what people have not tried so far.”

One of Dyson’s latest devices is the “Supersonic” hairdryer. Depicting the hairdryer not only as powerful but also intelligent, McPherson said his team has gone through a time of patience and effort to develop the new device.

“Because we did not have a background in the beauty industry, we had to start from scratch in the conceptualizing stage, mulling over how to combine technologies in different areas for the new device. This took four years,” he said. “We gathered many engineers each specialized in acoustics, motors, fluid mechanism and so on. We have built more than 600 prototypes before engineering the final design for Supersonic.”

After acquiring his master’s degree of engineering design at Loughborough University, McPherson started his career as a design engineer of motor cruisers.
When he joined Dyson in 2006, he worked to develop cylinder vacuum cleaners. Afterwards he moved to the air control technology team to research the applicability of Dyson’s exclusive air condensing technology.

Established in the United Kingdom by James Dyson in 1991, the British company has acquired its reputation as a provider of premium home appliances. The company is pouring in more than $330 million for research and development every year and recently revealed its plan to invest $1.4 billion in improving battery technologies.

Though it faces similar premium product difficulties of global electronics giants such as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, Dyson’s products including wireless vacuum cleaners, air purifiers and humidifiers have drawn great popularity globally regardless of their high prices.

McPherson also underlined that more than 2,000 Dyson engineers are capable of creating consumer benefits out of new technologies thanks to the company’s technology-oriented business philosophy and the operation of relatively flexible product development timelines.

“Though we do have plans and timelines for product development, we always seek to be more flexible and repeat the trial-and-error process to be ultimately ready to roll out new devices,” he said. “I believe this is possible partly for Dyson is not a listed company, and also because James Dyson himself is the chief engineer.”

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