Feeds

Google Glass? Feh. Behold Dyson's 2001 pocket 'puter techno specs with own 'Siri'

Shaggy was topping the charts at the time

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Pics Blighty’s best-known modern inventor James Dyson is famous for his vacuum cleaners, fans and hand-dryers, but apparently he could have branched out into smartglasses and fuel cells years ago.

Guy models the prototype Dyson Halo (N066)

HOW FREAKIN' COOL AM I?

Over 10 years ago, the Brit’s eponymous firm started working on an augmented reality headset codenamed N066, which could have become a Google-Glass-alike product called the Dyson Halo.

Instead of being an all-in-one piece of tech like Google Glass, Dyson was planning a headset that could be worn like glasses but was plugged into a little computer the wearer would have had to stick in their pocket. Two tiny monitors would be mounted onto the temples and used to help reflect the illusion of a projected, translucent, 10-inch display around a metre to the front of the wearer.

Much like smartphones today, the portable computer system would have been a communications device that incorporated a variety of apps. It was also planned to include a virtual personal assistant similar to Siri that could have read out emails and taken basic voice commands.

Concept drawing of the Dyson Halo (N066)

Is it a Walkman? Is it Google Glass? You decide!

The user could also have used a nifty little feature that should allow virtual objects to be pinned to reality when they moved their head. This could enable them to project a keyboard to type and write emails on any surface.

The pocket-sized PC part of the tech could have been detached and then docked with a monitor and the whole thing also came with a smartwatch-style wrist controller that acted like a mouse.

Sadly, the awesome early noughties vision was shelved after three years of R&D so that Dyson engineers could concentrate on expanding into the US.

Much earlier, back in 1997, Dyson wondered whether its vacuum cleaner cyclones, which can filter particles down to 0.5 microns, could be used in diesel engines to help reduce air pollution.

The prospective main menu of the Dyson Halo (N066)

Who doesn't want a headset with a NEURAL DATABASE app?

The firm found that the required energy to run the cyclones was too high, so it turned to using electrical discharge to ionise and collect particles. But there were no plans for the company to build its own car and the auto industry started using ceramic filters, so the project was abandoned.

One idea that may yet yield a product was a Dyson digital motor that could sit inside a fuel cell in order to increase performance while reducing the size. The company said that its results showed a 20 per cent increase in power density and improved efficiency and made startup time three times faster. Engineers are still looking into the possibilities. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.