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Panasonic 'hybrid' vacuum can charge your smartphone

The MC-HS700G can't work long on a single charge of its batteries. But if you happen to be cleaning up a bowling alley, it can lift bowling balls.

The Panasonic MC-HS700G has power-saving and dust-sensing functions.
The MC-HS700G has a dust sensor and automatic idling mode.

Unless they really suck, sport robotics, or feature cutting-edge design, it's hard to get excited about vacuum cleaners.

Panasonic's recently released Japan model MC-HS700G, however, has a few bells and whistles that make one sit up and take notice.

With its "hybrid" design, it can operate cordlessly. Its newly developed high-power lithium ion batteries allow it to recharge your smartphone or other mobile device via USB.

If you happen to find yourself cleaning remote corners of a bowling alley without power outlets, Panasonic claims the MC-HS700G can lift a 6-pound bowling ball off the ground with its sucking power.

While its batteries take about five hours to charge with a socket, they only provide about 20 minutes of power when the vacuum is in automatic mode.

The nozzle attachments include a rotating brush unit with twin LED lights that shine on dirt and debris in its path.

If you want to make sure you haven't missed a spot, the handle has a display that will light up if the unit senses dust. It can register particles as small as 20 microns, which are invisible to the human eye.

Its power-saving features include an automatic idling mode when the nozzle is lifted off the floor, and downshifting to lower power when there's less dirt to hoover up.

Meanwhile, the external cyclone vacuum and green-on-silver trim gives the MC-HS700G a sporty look. It's got a big handle for carrying up and down stairs, but with a weight of about 15 pounds, you won't want to lug it very much.

Panasonic's MC-HS700G is selling in Japan for about $725.

Correction, 8:20 p.m. PT: This story was updated to correct the MC-HS700G's charging function: It can recharge smartphones and other devices but cannot be charged with them.