In pictures: After the vacuum and the hairdryer, Dyson engineers have redesigned the humble Christmas tree

Emma Haslett
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First it was the vacuum cleaner, then it was the fan, and then it was the hairdryer. Now engineers at Dyson have redesigned the humble Christmas tree.

Forget your Nordman Firs - the design, produced by engineers at Dyson's snazzy new campus included baubles made of hairdryers and 1,500 LEDs which can be remotely controlled to display different effects.

But alas, the "Infinitree" won't be available in shops. It's part of a competition-cum-thought experiment set by Dyson to its engineers to re-think the Christmas tree.

The two runners-up included the "Twistmastree", featuring interlinking gears and cogs to power a countdown to Christmas clock at the top.

The "Snowglobe" sits inside a geodesic dome, built (naturally) from Dyson cord-free vacuum cleaner wands. Inside the dome is a tree formed out of clear plastic cyclones, with a continuous airflow of snow falling from the top. Who knew vacuums could be so festive?

Matthew Seymour, one of the engineers involved in the Infinitree, said its creation involved some tricky coding to get the timing patterns right.

(Click or tap on the images to see them in full screen)

Innovation awards

It's not the first time Dyson has set its engineers innovation challenges: in previous years, the company has asked them to design a cardboard go-kart capable of traversing hazardous terrain, and a hovercraft which can negotiate a tricky obstacle course.

This extends outside the company, too: last month a folding bicycle helmet made of paper won the James Dyson Award - giving its designer, Isis Shiffer, £30,000 to develop it.

In September it completed its new, £250m, 56 acre campus in Malmesbury, which includes 129 laboratories, a sports centre and an all-day cafe big enough to serve the 2,500 people working there.

James Dyson said the campus is "surrounded by engineering inspiration and design icons". Including, now, a jazzy Christmas tree.

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