Dyson today unveiled the latest chapter in its fast-expanding direct to consumer retail approach, introducing advanced virtual reality technology to enable its customers to experience and test Dyson technology hands-on from their own homes using a VR headset.
The new Dyson Demo VR allows customers to trial, test and understand Dyson’s products in an immersive, virtual, online environment. The technology used draws on many of the same visualisation and simulation technologies that Dyson engineers use to prototype, test, and develop new products and software in the lab.
The enhanced customer experience brings the best of the physical, offline world together with the convenience and dynamism of the virtual world. This will be paired with the newly launched live streamed events on Dyson’s direct websites and 1:1 video demonstration hosted by Dyson experts to enable customers to better understand which technology is right for them.
This new launch forms a part of Dyson’s growing focus on direct-to-consumer retail both on the highstreet and online. These virtual experiences will compliment Dyson’s 318 existing physical Dyson Demo stores worldwide, 30 of which have opened in city centres during the COVID-19 pandemic. 19 more are planned for 2021.
James Dyson, founder and chief engineer, said: “As engineers we are concerned with improving things and that includes how people understand our products. We have been harnessing powerful virtual reality technologies to engineer new products in our labs for many years, now we are applying those same technologies to re-invent how people explore our products. Our customers increasingly want to buy directly from us, which makes sense, because we created the technology, and we are best placed to look after them. We are also trying new ways to explain our technologies through our hair salons, testing zones instore, online live streams, 1:1 live video.”
The Dyson Demo VR
The Dyson Demo VR is the first virtual store of its kind and is available through the Oculus store from November 19th. The VR experience will iteratively update and improve over time, with phase one including:
- Product Demonstrations. Trial the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer, Corrale straightener and Airwrap styler on a variety of hair types or the new Dyson V15 Detect cordless vacuum, which uses laser technology to illuminate the floor to find hidden dust.
- Inside the Technology. Look inside each piece of technology to understand more about how the technology works through visual animations and interviews with Dyson engineers
- Home Trialling. Whether your home has carpets or hard floors, see how Dyson technology would interact with various features of your home to ensure you’re getting the right product for your environment.
- Future releases will include a virtual shopping experience with the functionality to also speak with a Dyson Expert all from the comfort and convenience of home.
Sean Newmarch, Dyson e-commerce director, said: “Dyson Demo VR means that we can now bring our technologies to life for our customers in ways that were previously beyond imagination. Using the same technologies and tools used within our labs, we can explain better how Dyson machines work and why they make a difference. All of this can be done using our actual design data. We can show people a virtual product operating in a virtual room but using the actual product software – it doesn’t get much more realistic than that.”
Bringing technology out of the lab into the home
For the past decade, product development and simulation tools have enabled Dyson engineers to develop products and put them through their paces in a virtual world, even before the first physical prototypes are made. In Dyson’s EV project, virtual reality was used to simulate an ‘on road’ driving experience, whilst also replicating the interiors and exterior colours, materials, and finishes. Engineers were also able to build the car in a virtual world to gain access to the inner workings of the machine’s motors, testing proximity, performance and problem solving all ahead of the first physical prototype’s production.
Mike Aldred, senior principal engineer, said:“Dyson technologies solve complex problems and you have to use them to truly understand them. Real-world trials are critical to ensuring our products are high-performing, robust and reliable but enhanced virtual simulations means we can test faster and in a greater number of scenarios. Simulation enables our engineers to see the effects of their design brought to life earlier in the design process, so that we can develop higher-performing technologies faster.”