Dyson’s AR app shows you where you’ve vacuumed

Dyson’s AR app shows you where you’ve vacuumed

Dyson has developed a new feature that uses your smartphone’s augmented reality sensors to virtually paint over areas you’ve vacuumed, so you can see if you’ve missed a spot.

The feature, called CleanTrace, uses the lidar scanner found on Pro or Pro Max iPhones 12 and newer and requires you to attach your phone to the vacuum. For now, the $1,000 Gen5detect is the only dust sucker in Dyson’s ranks that will accept the smartphone clamp, which will be sold separately. We’re not yet sure how much it’ll cost. Dyson is planning to add the feature to its mobile app as a free update when it launches this June.

CleanTrace exists because “consumers are haphazard and inefficient – regularly overing the same areas multiple times and missing other spots altogether,” a take Dyson says was gleaned from all of the data its products have helped gather over the years about its users’ cleaning and usage patterns.

Dyson credits robot vacuums with providing the inspiration for CleanTrace, but the thing is… most robot vacuums cost hundreds of dollars less (not Dyson’s, though), and even the least expensive options don’t make you do the vacuuming yourself. Robot vacuums aren’t always perfect and can’t go everywhere, of course, which is why these manual models still exist.

Ironically, the Gen5detect already has built-in features meant to reveal dust and debris you’d otherwise miss, like a green headlight angled to make the dirt visible. The CleanTrace attachment is supposed to offer an additional layer of proof and peace of mind. It’s unclear whether the app uses any information from the vacuum itself to prove you’ve adequately cleaned your floors. Otherwise, I can’t think of a single good reason it can’t work with any of Dyson’s other vacuums — or those from any other brand, for that matter.

The illustrations Dyson has provided so far hint toward some software tricks that can accurately detect the head of the vacuum for added precision, but I imagine creating a similar third-party app with user-customizable guides would be light work for a seasoned AR developer. Creating a clamp with the perfect look, angle, and a secure fit is another matter, but those with solid 3D printing skills can fill that gap as well. It looks satisfyingly fun, if nothing else, even if only in an “I’m insufferably bored and rich enough to own one” kind of way.

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