James Dyson was in Tokyo tonight to show his company's first robot vacuum cleaner to the world. At an event held right under Tokyo Tower, Dyson spoke of his emotion on launching the 360 Eye in Japan, the country where his first vacuums were sold. But how does it perform?
Very well, if Dyson's staged demos are to be believed. The 360 Eye managed to pick up far more detritus from a smooth floor than an unnamed rival, and acquitted itself well in a simulated living room environment, bobbing under tables and traversing the transition from flooring to carpet with ease. The design impresses, too — the chassis is much smaller than I'd imagined, and there are unmistakable Dysonesque notes like the transparent elements and purple tank tracks.
Of course, it's far from a real-world test, and it probably doesn't give much indication of how Dyson's offering competes against the latest from the likes of iRobot and LG. Samsung announced a high-end model of its own today, too. But in a vacuum? The 360 Eye looks pretty compelling.
Scroll down to see some photos from the Tokyo event.