What's the Latest Development?

Calling a product 'green' has become a powerful marketing tool. But all too often, says British inventor James Dyson, such environmental claims are a gimmick hidden behind lazy engineering. Perhaps best known for his Dyson vacuum cleaner, Dyson says most companies simply install smaller motors into mechanical devices and then make energy-saving claims. "At up to 120,000 revolutions-per-minute, [Dyson's digital motor] runs at up to four times the speed of conventional copper-and-brushes designs, and is twice as efficient."

What's the Big Idea?

Dyson does not believe an engineering revolution is necessary for manufacturers to create cleaner, more efficient products. Simply using durable materials and interesting people in engineering will naturally facilitate the development of better machines. The inventor says government regulation is essential to encourage industry to become more efficient and that, to compete with emerging Asian countries, the US desperately needs a new generation of engineers. Due to price pressures from Asia, innovative engineering has become essential. 

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