Germs are like songs from popular Disney movies; a small amount of exposure is good for you, but if you have kids you’re likely overdosing, and lord help us all if it goes viral. If you’ve taken this pandemic as an opportunity to become more aware of just how germy the world around you is, Dyson’s two latest gadgets are primed to give you more information about what’s in your air and dust.
The most exciting new gadget is the Dyson V15 Detect vacuum cleaner ($1399), which uses lasers and a new display to give you more info about what’s going on with your hard floors.
There’s a good chance you’re cleaning parts of your floor too much and other parts nowhere near enough, but if you have a good floor designed not to show the dust too clearly, you probably had no way of knowing that. The new laser (safe for your eyes and pets) in the hard floor cleaning tool shows up all the dust on your floor to delight or (more likely) terrify you.
I was surprised to learn that the middle of my high-traffic hallway actually isn’t all that dusty, but that the sides where no one steps look like a horror show. There are some parts of my apartment I should be vacuuming thrice a week, and others that might only need it once a fortnight. Of course, the laser only works when it’s fairly dark, but who doesn’t love to vacuum at night with the lights off?
There’s also a new screen that breaks down the sizes of the particles you’re sucking up. I wish it gave more information about what the particles did, or that there was an app that tracked it over time so you could gain insights, but at the moment it’s useful to know that I have a lot of the tiny, allergy causing particles and that’s why I sneeze.
It’s also helpful to see the speed at which the numbers are going up because you know when an area is done, which can be harder to tell than you’d think. This is just the first generation of this Detect system, so it’s likely that next year’s model will give more actionable information.
The other new device is the Dyson Hot+Cool Formaldehyde ($899). Every year there is a new chemical or thing to be afraid of, and this year it’s formaldehyde. While previous Dyson air purifiers captured formaldehyde, they couldn’t give you the stats on how much you had around.
You probably didn’t know you were supposed to be concerned about formaldehyde (I certainly didn’t), but apparently it can be released from furniture and other items for years, and lead to serious health problems if inhaled in high enough concentration. It’s more of a problem elsewhere in the world, but things like plastic (including pleather), some forms of old insulation, and cheap couches can be culprits.