The Battle of Trend versus Function in Technology

Central Vacuum

Technology often follows a certain flow regardless of the platform or the device. During the dawn of civilization, for example, everyone switched from wooden tools to iron implements because of their durability. People also switched from stone to steel at the turn of the 20th century, since it allowed people to build bigger structures.
Central Vacuum System

Rebelling Against the Machines

These days, technology is following a similar pattern, as most devices are becoming portable or mobile to accommodate everyone’s changing lifestyle. But, once in a while, a maverick would emerge within the group that resists this flow. These objects often run counter to the popular philosophies of the day, but they can afford to, since they just work better that way.

The best example for these tech rebels is the central vacuum system. No, it’s not the edgiest of home appliances, but it’s also everything people wouldn’t imagine when thinking of vacuum cleaners. A central system is basically a vacuum motor and hose that attaches to the wall.

In a world where being able to take your things anywhere is the fashion of the time, the central vacuum limits the cleaning areas to fixed points around the house. Why is that a good thing? This is because this system eliminates all the handicaps of the portable vacuum without taking away any of the advantages. Let’s run through them one by one.

Go “Anywhere”

First, the portable system does allow users a free range of movement, but they will need to either pull or carry the entire device when they move through the property. That’s the combined weight of the hose and motor holding cleaners back every time they want to change locations. This isn’t to mention the possibility of tripping over the cord every few minutes.

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The central system doesn’t have this weight problem since the bulk of the system is installed on the walls of the house. Strategic placement is all it takes for a vacuum’s hose to reach all the nooks and crannies that the portable system can, eliminating the latter’s advantage.
Central Vacuum

Technical Philosophies are Exclusive

Looking at the pros and cons of these two systems, it seems that the central vacuum is more effective. But, a quick comparison of the popularity of the devices will show that portables are the superior products. This preference doesn’t make sense, considering all the facts regarding the benefits that these systems have to offer.

Once again, the disparity is all about the perception people have about portability. The success of handheld devices created a false standard with most people that the less connections a product has, the better it is. The philosophies of technical design are device specific, and don’t necessarily apply to anything else. After all, nobody thinks that portable washing machines are the future, why should vacuum cleaners be any different?

Portability doesn’t automatically mean improvement or reach. Users need to look at the actual merits and abilities of a device before choosing to go along with the trend. They might pass over a superior alternative in favor of something may not be all it’s cracked up to be.