Segway – a company that was once pegged by some in the media as the ‘future of transportation’ – is planning to launch a new ‘e-Skate’ product. Officially dubbed the Segway Drift W1 e-Skates, these electronic skates are referred to by the company as a new, lightweight and portable form of personal transportation. The 11.5 x 6 x 5-inch e-Skates offer riders a briskly max speed of 7.5 mph and upwards of 45 minutes of ride time.
It’s quite clear from the company’s marketing material that they’re targeting a younger demographic with these skates. Words and phrases such as ‘fun’, ‘coolness’, ‘create new trends’, and ‘dare to stand out’ pepper the sales copy.
Like many who’ve reported on this latest innovation from Segway, as I watch the promo video I can’t help but feel the aches and bruises throughout my body – because frankly, e-Skates don’t look too easy to ‘drive’. Although the skates are loaded with the same self-balancing technology as the original Segway, I can’t imagine anyone climbing the learning curve without taking a few spills. Perhaps, that’s why the company smartly includes a helmet with every purchase.
Another safety feature is the accompanying smartphone app that provides access to speed control settings as well as riding tutorials.
According to reports, Segway Drift W1 e-Skates will cost $399 for the pair. Those same reports say Ninebot – the most recent parent of Segway – will begin shipping its latest personal transportation device in August. It’ll be interesting to see if the Beijing-based personal transport company will be able to revive the Segway brand back to its former glory.
Since Segway first arrived in the early-2000s, it has gone from being hailed as ‘the next big thing’ to being sold several times. So far, none of the owners have managed to find a way to get the brand to live up to its hype. Only time will tell whether or not Ninebot has finally found the secret formula.