SEGWAY PREVIEW NEW DRIFT W1 E-SKATES
Three years ago early adopters were falling off or being incinerated by hoverboards, and then they rode under buses on e-scooters. Soon, to fashionably break a leg or die in traffic, you will need the new Segway self-balancing Drift W1 e-skates. Emergency rooms globally are readying their orthopedic teams.
Segway, the US company famous for their iconic self-balancing two-wheeled Human Transporter, announced today that it’s working on a pair of “e-skates” called the Drift W1 and showcased photos and a promo video.
The skates look like 1950's science fiction props, stylishly swoopy black-and-white inverted pyramids with one big fat roller wheel underneath and rows of LEDs front & back. There are no straps or clips, you simply stand on top and pray.
Full details are a little light at this early stage, but the Drifts appear to be motorised powered skates that use Segway tech to balance. Top speed is not mentioned, and there's nothing on battery life, range or indeed price, although a guess of US$500 would probably be about right.
Segway claims that the skates benefit from its 800 patents covering the proven gyroscopic balancing technology that is the core of the whole Segway product line.
The promo, of course, makes use look easy. Just jump on and go. In real-life standing on two independent wheeled platforms, no straps, no safety net and no skyhook looks to be incredibly dangerous. We say don't apply unless you already have good skateboarding skills and get a good helmet.
We suspect a lot of practice will be needed.
WILL THESE BURN MY HOUSE DOWN?
The misnamed "hoverboards" were notorious for bursting into flames, and the market attracted hordes of cheap Chinese ripoffs of the original Razor design. People died, houses burnt down, and millions were recalled and junked. Fortunately, with the Drifts coming from a mainstream and renowned manufacturer like Segway there should be no problems, but don't be tempted by the guaranteed cheap knockoffs that will follow.
Rob Follis has been writing about tech on and off for over 40 years, is a designer, photographer, information omnivore, gadget-head, Hi-Fi afficionado, owner of far far too many things and sadly an unsuccessful app developer. A born & bred Londoner now happily living in Melbourne. Email Rob.
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