I tested Dyson's AR CleanTrace and I was hooked


I was one of the first group of people to test Dyson’s new augmented reality (AR) innovation, CleanTrace.

CleanTrace uses AR to give you a view of your floor as you’re vacuuming – showing the areas you’ve cleaned and those you’ve missed – in real time.

Before I tested it, I was admittedly somewhat sceptical. I questioned whether the experience would be as good as it looks in the promotional photos and videos, which take the imaginative liberty of faux-painting virtual purple stripes all over a floor.

In reality, you’re viewing the purple-striped AR cleaning on a phone screen while it’s attached to a vacuum cleaner, which does not sound all that enticing. However, it turns out that I’m exactly the type of screen addict at whom the experience is aimed.

More about that in a moment but first, here’s what the CleanTrace is.

Dyson’s CleanTrace technology is made up of two parts: an AR tool within the MyDyson app, and a phone clamp. Dyson says that it has been created to improve vacuuming efficiency, using a lot of words like “systematic”, “methodically” and “effective” when describing the tech, but really, it makes vacuuming better because it’s so much more satisfying to wipe purple stripes across a screen than it is to clean a floor.

Emma Rowley / Foundry

Emma Rowley / Foundry

Emma Rowley / Foundry

But the CleanTrace tool can’t be used by everyone. First off, you’ll need a Dyson Gen5detect vacuum, although it’s possible that the technology will work with other Dyson vacuums in the future. You’ll also need to make sure your Gen5detect has been registered with Dyson.

Then you’ll need to buy the phone clamp, which you’ll be able to get from Dyson from June onwards, and which will attach to the vacuum wand.

And there’s one more catch: the clamp and app will only work with Apple’s iPhone, and even then, only the Pro and Pro Max versions. That’s because CleanTrace makes use of Apple’s LiDAR scanner, which is only available on Pro and Pro Max handsets.

So, what’s CleanTrace like to use? The fact is that I’m phenomenally lazy when it comes to vacuuming – and easily distracted. My usual MO is to swipe around the hard flooring in my flat, targeting obvious bits of cat fur, then throw the vac onto the floor and myself onto the sofa, while congratulating myself on a job well done.

In this, I’m not alone. Dyson points out that many people are mildly delusional when it comes to cleaning. Its research shows that people imagine that they vacuum for much longer than they do and that they are “haphazard and inefficient” as they swipe the vacuum around the room. (Hi Dyson. It me!)

That’s why the green laser on newer Dyson models (the V15 Detect, V12 Detect Slim, Gen5detect and Submarine) is so useful for people like me. It lights up all the pet fur and dust on your hard flooring in a way you can’t miss, which really does encourage you to vacuum more thoroughly.

But the CleanTrace is even better. If you enjoy the dopamine hit of clearing a maze while playing Pac-Man, or fitting the final Tetris piece into a block and eliminating it all, CleanTrace is aimed at you.

While testing it, I found myself completely zombie-fixated on the screen – which is, in fact, large enough and close enough to get a good view of the floor – and could quite happily have vacuumed the whole of the test area, and probably the entire building, had a beleaguered Dyson rep not wrested the vacuum from my hands.

At the end of your cleaning session, you can remove your phone from the clamp and scan the room to see any spots you’ve overlooked. This is a very cool feature indeed.

Emma Rowley / Foundry

Emma Rowley / Foundry

Emma Rowley / Foundry

Overall, although CleanTrace will be a niche product – at least at the start – because of the very specific tech it relies on, we’re sure that people will get a kick out of it. At the very least, it will increase the chances of your kids vacuuming for you.

Once the CleanTrace feature has been launched, you’ll find it in the MyDyson app. Here are the phones it’ll work with:

CleanTrace will be available from June 2024 from Dyson’s website and in Dyson demo stores. The app feature will be free, but the 104g phone clamp won’t be. Its price is yet to be confirmed by Dyson, so we’ll update this article when that’s been announced.

If you’re considering buying a Dyson vacuum, see our review of the flagship Gen5detect or check out our round-up of the best cordless Dyson vacuums to find the right model for you.

Las Vegas News Magazine

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