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Dyson’s new vacuum uses lasers so you can spot hidden dust particles

Dyson’s latest vacuum models—the V15 Detect and Omni-glide—promise to help you clean better with new technology and mobility. I put them to the test.

Dyson’s new vacuum uses lasers so you can spot hidden dust particles
[Photo: courtesy Dyson]

Last month, a light bulb in my home exploded and glass went everywhere. I think it was the dramatic change in temperature or too many plugs in the same extension cord or a poltergeist. I keep a strictly no-shoes household, so the fear was real. But luckily, Dyson had just sent its V15 Detect Vacuum over for me to test. The company probably didn’t have finding tiny shards of glass in mind when it designed its newest flagship vacuum, but the V15 Detect most definitely delivered, keeping my household’s bare feet (and tiny paws) safe.

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The second most notable feature of this machine is a strategically angled laser that shines a green light toward the floor, highlighting dust, lingering hairs, crumbs, and yes, bits of glass. Green was chosen for its ability to reflect particles, creating a better contrast than red or white. I was able to quickly locate the broken glass within seconds. 

[Photo: courtesy Dyson]
Still, that’s the second most impressive thing about the V15 Detect. The first being the tiny computer that charts the size and number of micro-particles the vacuum is picking up—as small as 10 microns, the size of dust. The machine uses a coin-size piezo detector to determine its bounty and revs up power based on need. You can watch the LCD display in horror, racking up billions of debris, as you quickly realize you’re the world’s most disgusting human being. (Dyson design manager Josh Mutlow recommended I test this feature on my mattress, with the knowledge that 180 microns is the size of dust mites. I may never sleep well again.)

The combination of the V15 Detect’s two signature features turned vacuuming my home into both a deeply satisfying and rather upsetting experience. Between finding tracked kitty litter in rooms far, far away from my cat’s box and enough of my hair to make a wig for a doll, the green laser exposed all of my worst sins. In addition to the laser-equipped vacuum head, the V15 Detect comes with six additional heads and tools, including an anti-tangle conical brush head that can tackle both human and pet hair without clogging. As someone who has vacuum-specific scissors that I use to slice through the mounds of my hair tangled on my inferior robo-vac’s brush, I view this as MacArthur-worthy.

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The V15 Detect has its drawbacks. It’s heavy: just under 7 pounds, which makes it somewhat awkward and annoying to wheel around with one hand while holding down the trigger to power. (Carpal tunnel, beware.) Its tank fills up quite fast—though that might be more of a me problem than a Dyson problem. But it’s easy to empty and clean. 

[Photo: courtesy Dyson]
The V15 isn’t the only new vacuum from Dyson. I also tested the Omni-glide, a lightweight dual-brush stick vacuum that is designed to be omnidirectional, allowing its brush head to sit flush to the ground. That means it glides and swivels with ease and is able to squeeze between crevices and duck under tight spaces. It features dual soft rollers that spin in opposite directions to suck up day-to-day mess, while carbon fiber bristles keep static at bay. 

The Omni-glide is engineered for hardwood and the like (laminate, tile, etc.), so its rolling bristles stop their magic once you hit carpet. In a home that has both, it can be frustrating to have to swap during a full-house clean. But it’s great to have hanging on your wall for everyday maintenance and post-dinner clean-up. It has two modes, regular and max, which are controlled and turned on with the touch of a button (no trigger necessary!), and it can sweep side-to-side and back-and-forth for seamless and effortless cleaning. 

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[Photo: courtesy Dyson]
Would I pick one over the other? Probably not. They work well in tandem, though I understand that double-price tag isn’t for everyone. (The Omni-Glide is $400, while the V15 Detect is $700.) If you are a bit of a clean geek, both models have enough innovative advancements and features to tickle your fancy. And if you just want to clean your house and do it really (really) well, they can do that, too. 


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