A GLASGOW inventor and his friends are aiming to hoover up the vacuum-cleaner market and beat Sir James Dyson with a new machine.
After 11 years of development in a garden shed, Gorbals-born Mike Rooney and Maryhill's Matt Neely have created the Airrider - a hovercraft-inspired vacuum cleaner.
They say the creation sits on a cushion of air and doesn't use rollers to pick up fluff. Dust and dirt is sucked from floors at a speed of more than 200mph.
And thanks to its hovercraft-style design, the machine is weightless when in use.
Matt said: "Mike was a vacuum-cleaner salesman in Canada for a long time but started to think there could be a better way of cleaning carpets than with an ordinary upright.
"It took him a long time, but he came up with this. "It should be ideal for everyone - mums will love it because it does the job well, older people will like it because it's easy to move and men and children will think it's great because it's a gizmo, a complete gadget.
"Who wouldn't want a hovercraft in their house?
"But it isn't a gimmick. It does its job, and if you have parquet flooring it's ideal - there are no rollers to damage the wood.
"We've seen how people took to the Dyson, so I think people will be fairly open-minded about this." The pair say the cleaner is attracting a lot of attention from TV companies, with Fox News already having run a report on it, and ITV ready to feature it on Saturday morning kids' show, Ministry of Mayhem. The £229 machine debuted on the QVC shopping channel last week.
Matt said a deal had breached with the US department store chain, Brooks Stores, to sell in America, and that he was in talks with John Lewis about selling it here in the UK from next month. He added: "We're aiming squarely at Dyson. "He stole the crown from Hoover, so now it's our turn to take it from him.
"I think we can sell around 100,000 of these in the first year.
"The only thing we can't say about our product is that it's the first hovercraft vacuum cleaner. Hoover tried to create one in the 1950s, but it didn't work very well.
"But our cleaner will have no problems taking off."
From The Glasgow Evening Times