14035 Mon, 03/17/2008 - 10:59am
By David Gill
CHICAGO–In a difficult consumer economic environment, manufacturers of vacuum cleaners are holding fast to the dictum that new products and innovative technologies will boost sales growth. The introductions at this week’s International Home & Housewares Show from vac vendors feature a variety of technologies to improve the performance and efficiency of vacuums on the market. Features that allow the products to be used on a variety of surfaces and to pull up hard-to-clean items such as pet hair will also be pushed this week.
Earlex is presenting its new Raycop vacuum cleaner as the first anti-bacterial vacuum cleaning system. The new product uses ultraviolet (UVC) technology to eliminate bacteria and reduce the allergens that cause or aggravate symptoms of asthma, other allergies and dermatitis. It also works on most household surfaces, including mattresses, sofas, chairs, futons, crib pads, bed linens, pillows and curtains. The system sterilizes the surface with a UVC germicidal lamp, and then releases dust mites and their waste with a built-in vibrating pad. The final part of the cleaning process uses a micro-allergy filtration system provided by 3M, which prevents the allergens and debris from returning to the air.
Pet owners are the target for Eureka’s latest launch, the Capture Pet Lover vacuum cleaner, a trademarked product. The new vac uses an easy-glide, powered turbo brush with small rubber notches that grab pet hair from upholstery, curtains and shades without scratching delicate surfaces. The new product also includes a pet odor-eliminating system in the vacuum’s filter, which removes odors safely and naturally. The Capture Pet Love also has a large, bagless dust cup, Eureka’s Telescopic Self-Cleaning Duster, the trademarked Dual Powered Edge Kleeners, the company’s trademarked EZ Roll rollerblade wheels and an ergonomic looped handle for comfortable use.
Metropolitan Vacuum Cleaner
Metropolitan is offering enhanced power in its new series of handheld vacuums. The 500 series features a 500-watt, 4.5-amp motor, delivering cleaning performance normally associated with full-sized vacuums, according to a company statement. The units look very much like previous models of Metropolitan handheld vacs, with the same all-steel body design. The new line includes three products: the Vac ‘N’ Go 500 and the Metropolitan Professional 500-watt are vacuum-only systems; while the Vac ‘N’ Blo 500 comes with an upholstery tool, a crevice tool, a dust brush, the patented Magic-Air inflation nozzle, a 20-inch extension wand, a flexible extension hose and a shoulder strap. All three models can be used on countertops, upholstery, stairs, blinds, lampshades, cars, trucks, sport utility vehicles, boats and computer equipment.
The company’s new Steamboy T1 Steam Floor Mop allows the cleaning of floors by using steam. The machine, which resembles an upright vacuum cleaner, features a removable water tank to produce the steam, a 180-degree swivel head and an 11-inch cleaning path. Each model comes with two machine- or hand-washable cloth pads and a carpet glide for cleaning and deodorizing carpets. Part of the steam unit is a replaceable demineralizing crystal water filter.
TTI Floor Care North America
In one of the company’s most ambitious launches ever, TTI Floor Care is marking the 100th anniversary of the upright vacuum cleaner with the Hoover WindTunnel Anniversary Edition, encompassing four redesigned models. All of them use the company’s WindTunnel technology, a dual-air-duct system with two additional air passes that capture all of the dirt on the floor, rather than capturing some and scattering the rest. Also, all of the models employ the company’s embedded dirt-finder technology, which senses whether there is still dirt in the carpet with light signals.
The WindTunnel Bagged features a metal hood accent and metal non-marring wheels, along with an ergonomic handle with fingertip control. The WindTunnel Bagless has a HEPA filtrations system that helps clean the filter and the dirt cup simultaneously. The WindTunnel Self-Propelled enables the user to get the nozzle closer to the carpet with a transmission that provides ease of motion over any height of carpet; this model also includes a tool for cleaning pet hair from a variety of surfaces. The Convertible offers the features from the Bagged and Bagless units, and allows the user to switch from one mode to the other.
In the company’s Dirt Devil program, the company has added new models to its Designer Series, produced in partnership with interior designer Karim Rashid. New to this lineup is the Kwik, a mini-hand vacuum for home office and car uses, which has a USB charging base along with a wall outlet. Also joining this collection is the Brum, a broom vacuum with a 96-volt rechargeable motor in the bristles, and a hook at the top of the handle that allows the user to hang the vacuum on the wall.
Joining the company’s core Dirt Devil program is the AccuCharge Energy Star-approved hand vacuum and stick vacuum. The company has retrofitted existing products in the core program to receive Energy Star approval, which is a mark of both efficiency and environmental friendliness. The models include a “smart” recharging system that automatically shuts off the motor recharger when it’s fully charged.