Dyson launches his twin-spin washer

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The Independent Online

Perhaps James Dyson has something about going in the opposite direction to everyone else. In 1993, the British inventor launched his "bagless" vacuum cleaner, which works by whirling air round first one way, then the other. And yesterday, he unveiled the fruits of four years' development: a washing machine with two internal drums that spin in opposite directions.

Perhaps James Dyson has something about going in the opposite direction to everyone else. In 1993, the British inventor launched his "bagless" vacuum cleaner, which works by whirling air round first one way, then the other. And yesterday, he unveiled the fruits of four years' development: a washing machine with two internal drums that spin in opposite directions.

Having already seen off the appliance giant Hoover in the market for vacuum cleaners - Dyson now leads the UK market - he is moving further into his rival's territory. But rather than the white objects so familiar in most kitchens, his new "Contrarotator" washing machine is yellow and purple (or blue, or silver), has twodrums, two motors, its own gearbox and bearings strong enough for a racing car. Launched amid dry ice and helicopter rides, the new machine will not be for the price-conscious. The cheapest will cost £999, roughly twice as much as standard models.

Mr Dyson insisted that the invention will revolutionise the world of washing machines just as his vacuum cleaners did.

The design was again born out of Mr Dyson's frustration with household work.

"It is shocking that your hands can wash cleaner than your machine," Mr Dyson said. "We found out why, hand-kneading the fabric properly releases the dirt.

"In an ordinary machine, clothes just go round in a swiss roll manner and rely on long soaks in detergent to get them clean, because there is no manipulation."

The Contrarotator is designed to imitate the action of hand washing by twisting and flexing clothes.

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