The DC24 Dyson vac being introduced today is the first since the large DC15 to roll around the floor on a big orange ball instead of wheels, making it super maneuverable. It's a little vac with a typically high price tag ($400 for DC24; $470 for its larger sibling, the DC25). In many ways it's just another vacuum cleaner, but in its design, it does mark the return of James Dyson's ball.
When you think of Dyson—if you think of the expensive British vacs at all—you probably think "suction." After all, the slogan "doesn't lose suction" is plastered on all of the Dyson vac marketing material. But James Dyson's first innovations were not in vacuums, but in wheelbarrows of all things. Sir James built a wheelbarrow with a ball on it—the ballbarrow—adding stability to a traditionally wobbly device.
As you can see in the video above, the DC24 pivots right and left as you twist your wrist, allowing it to corner like it's on rails. It has two tiny rear wheels, but they rarely touch the floor. It's all ball.
Does that make it worth the money? It's up to you—we're not going to tell you it's the best vac in the world. It's just fun to see a product as part of an evolution, rather than some standalone brain fart. If you want to know more about Dyson's early days (he designed boats, too, including something called the seatruck), have a look at this old Core77 interview. And if you want to know how his Airblade did against the Mitsubishi Jet Towel, well, just check out our Ultimate Hand-Dryer Battlemodo. [Dyson]