Dyson keeps going on about their new "digital" motor. What is a digital motor? How can a motor be digital, if it is inherently analog? Is it just marketing doublespeak?
Unfortunately the term digital seems to be applied inappropriately to all sorts of things.
Here is a good video from the EEV blog taking Dyson to task for their "Dyson digital motor".
Here is Dyson's take where they say "Dyson digital motors use digital pulse technology, spinning at up to 104,000 times a minute"
Then again most switched to turn a motor on or off are digital, binary in fact ;-)
Turning something on and off does not make it "digital". Switch-mode power supplies are not digital. Class D amplifiers are not digital. Just because something outputs square waves doesn't mean it's digital.
"Digital" means data or information being transferred in the form of discrete symbols. As long as a symbol is received without error, the signal suffers zero degradation, unlike analog which is incrementally corrupted by noise and distortion.
Those symbols can be represented by on and off pulses, like in digital logic, but also by any other scheme you can think of, like phase shifts of a sine wave, or by frequency shifts of a sine wave, or whatever. They're all digital.
Agreed, it's all marketing. I do a lot of work with ac motors, all the stuff they talk about on the website is comical. The motor itself is not digital, the power regulator to the motor is, but who cares. It's a vacuum, not exactly a precision machine. As far as the materials, they probably just lower the over all weight (the motor is probably the single most heaviest part) to reduce shipping cost. And one last thing, carbon dust isn't going to hurt the environment.
They could be referring to the control method as well. Most motors are controlled with PWM from an external source, but if there's a built-in driver then you might command it with serial protocols or DIO instead of voltage. I've seen 'smart motors' like that. It looks like there's electronics integrated on to the Dyson motor, so that might be it.
But yeah, marketspeak.
Here's a counterpoint view:
The vacuum cleaner motor in question will either work or go kaput. That sounds legitimately digital... to the marketing folks, at least!
Then again, that's more of a Binary Motor. Did I just give the marketing team a big "O"?
According to this article stepper motors are sometimes called digital motors because they are driven with pulses which control the degree of rotation.
I'm sure Dyson choose to call the motor a digital motor in their marketing because it sounds more sciency, and that seems to be a bit of a trend these days... at least they don't say it will give your carpet up to 90% more shine.
protected by Community♦ Jan 23 '12 at 6:08
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