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Friday, April 11, 2008

Design: Succesful Sucker Dyson Deigns to Award Aspiring Designers

Dyson, who knows a thing or two about sucking

Report by Noah Mallin

James Dyson, the world's most successful and fey vacuum cleaner salesman/designer and all-around design bon vivant flounced off of the television screen and into New York last night to recognize new innovators with his humbly named Dyson Awards. The task laid out to the contestants was simple: build a better mousetrap. Or as Dyson did, a better vacuum cleaner. As Dyson put it, the winner should demonstrate "...the ability to think differently, persist in the face of set-backs and create functional, innovative products that improve the way we live."

This year's winner came up with something pretty cool that is functional and would be a hit at the local Danceteria. The Reactiv jacket designed by Michael Chen is designed for the urban bicyclist who would prefer not to end up as tartare on the front bumper of a yellow cab.

"The jacket uses an accelerometer that senses movement to change the colour of the LEDs in the back from green (accelerating) to red (braking). It has amber LEDs in the arms which are activated by a tilt switch behind the elbow. These light up when the arm is lifted, indicating the cyclist is about to turn."

Check out other finalists, last years winners, and some info on sucking and/or blowing on Dyson's website.

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