Dyson Halo headset prototype

Dyson is near-synonymous with household electronics like vacuums and fans these days, but we're learning that it could have gone in a very different direction. The company tells The Next Web that it had been developing a Google Glass-like augmented reality headset, the Halo, between 2001 and 2004. The wearable (pictured here) projected visual cues, took voice commands and even sported a virtual keyboard that let you type on any flat surface. Dyson had a prototype, but ultimately canned the design to focus on both its core products and US expansion plans.

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Dyson Halo prototype

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That wasn't even the half of the company's early efforts. Dyson spent three years researching the usefulness of its signature motors in fuel cells, and it considered implementing the cyclone technology of its vacuum cleaners in eco-friendly diesel engines. All these would-be products are now water under the bridge, of course, but Dyson notes that it's "exploring other possibilities" for the use of its motor -- that big R&D expansion may produce more than just better home appliances.

[Image credit: Rob Bennett/AP Images for Dyson]

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Dyson developed a Google Glass-like headset ten years ago