Of all the forms of ‘future’ transport, none have been more thoroughly ridiculed than the Segway. While the combination of electric motors and gyroscopes was indeed innovative, the largest problem the design faces is that the rider looks well - stupid.
Maybe then, the problem is not with the technology, but with the design. At least this is what Acton Global is hoping. This company has built a unique new product which they are calling the RocketSkates, which in essence integrate this gyroscope technology into the form factor of standard roller skates. When boiled down, these RocketSkates are essentially a small segway for each of your feet.
Designed to strap on the feet of a user, over the regular shoes they wear, the skates have a rather bulky form factor. A user controls forward motion and speed through leaning forward and steer by leaning to the sides. The skates themselves feature an inbuilt microprocessor, and wirelessly communicate data with each other, to ensure equal speed and smooth riding.
According to the makers of the skates, they are able to reach a top speed of 12mph, and have enough battery life to last between 45 to 90 minutes, depending on which model is purchased.
The skates themselves also function (of course) as a smart device. They communicate with a standalone smartphone app which allows them to track the route, speed, and other metrics of your journey with the RocketSkates. Acton is also releasing a Software Development Kit (SDK) alongside the skates, in order to developers to create interesting apps and games that integrate the skates.
So will these be the next skateboard, the next rollerblades? Probably not. Despite all their technology, they still fail to make the user look anything less than totally ridiculous. The bulky ‘moon boot’ look of the skates, combined with the oversized wheels, and awkward controls together make the rider look completely silly, in the exactly same way as the Segway.
Some technologies were just never to be...
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