Image and price problems
Looked naff, adults riding on a toy, but cost the earth.
In yet another reminder that the heady days of the noughties are but a distant memory, the classic Segway is set to officially end production after a near-twenty-year run. Fast Company tells us the iconic electric scooter is going to end commercial production on July 15, with 21 of the 33 workers at its Bedford, New Hampshire …
And man were they are a huge mistake... Meanwhile, all the cool peeps are riding around on those small, light, single wheel electric things or electric scooters or the twin wheel balance board jobbies I wonder what would have happened if some commuter had tried to heave his segway onto the 8:16 from Reading of a morning?
Indeed. Segway is undeniably the groundbreaker here. Simple, relatively small electic scooter that's fast enough and with enough range to make getting around towns or similar easy and convenient. The subsquent popularity of electric scooters and the disappointingly misnamed hoverboards shows that the idea was great and the timing really not bad. The problem Segway had is that the innovation pretty much stopped at the first model. As should be expected, that was too big, awkward and expensive to be truly popular, despite showing the promise the technology had. 20 years later Segways still look basically the same, but now you can buy basically the same thing from any number of other companies as a child's toy.
You certainly can't call the idea a mistake, because the damn things are everywhere despite being technically illegal to actually use*. But Segway as a company certainly made a huge mistake by resting on their laurels and marketing to tiny niches instead of making the effort to turn it into something marketable to the general public.
* For those unaware, things like electric scooters are powered vehicles as far as the law is concerned, so you can't drive them on pavements or any other public spaces. But they're not road legal so you can't use them there either. Until the law catches up, you're only allowed to use them on private land. Obviously no-one actually pays any attention to this. And before it comes up, ebikes don't have this problem because they only assist in addition to pedalling, otherwise they have to be licensed as mopeds; electric wheelchairs also have to be licensed and meet regulations to be used on roads, although I think they have an exemption allowing them to be used in pedestrian areas.
I can remember the days of the pre-announcement Segway hype, with co-workers running around telling me how amazing it was going to be and how it was going to change the world over night. OK, so when pressed none of them could tell me what it was, with guessing covering everything from a book, through a new type of computer, to self driving and even flying cars. I kept saying "Sounds like a load of BS to me and it's going to be shit.".
Mark one up for the glass half empty crowd as I'm not sure anyone even mentioned the name Segway in the office after the day it was actually revealed.
It was doomed from the start. It was illegal to use them on the roads and also illegal to use them on the pavements. The only place you could legally use them, was on privately owned land. I suspect that if the bicycle was invented now, it would suffer the same fate.
By the way, so are electric scooters, illegal that is, but that doesn't seem to be stopping them. For some reason, the law isn't being enforced. In fact I believe there is a review into making them legal on roads in some places/circumstances. It seems the transport revolution came too late for the Segway.
Because it should never have NOT gotten a pass in the past? As far as substance abuse goes, marijuana is about as mild and non-dangerous as they come. You really need to go all out on smoking weed to suffer any lasting side effects any worse than smoking and it's unlikely to ever do anything close to the harm even moderate alcohol abuse can cause. The danger in pot use lies mostly in (excessively) combining it with other psycho-active drugs (including alcohol), that can cause far more dangerous problems. Drunks can be troublesome to deal with, those high on pot are usually almost completely harmless. Those high on weed AND smashed on alcohol can be really troublesome.
Dealing with someone suffering from underlying mental health issues, high as a kite AND smashed to the point of slurring his words... Well, let's just say it was a night I'm unlikely to forget in a hurry and police were involved. (note: this person had known underlying health issues and was known to get problematic on just alcohol alone. The only other case of psychotic break I've seen from drugs involved a lot of more dangerous substances like salvia. That person was only ever barely a danger to himself)
unfortunately, this is going to change (legal side), I saw a couple of texts about it a month or so ago. I dread to think about all the idiots swerving around pedestrians. And cars. Basically what you see now, but 100 x more. But hey, anything goes to save the planet (and generate sales)
eSccoters (At least here in Germany), are perfectly leagl on City Streets, the Sidewalk not so much. Not that it stops prople from using them there anyway. Oh I don't know about your neck ofthe Woods. But, you have to have your eScooter Registerd, with proof of insurance in order to opperate it leagally.
I believe there is a review into making them legal on roads in some places/circumstances.
Given Shapps (Transport Secretary) was waxing lyrical about out of town bus parks with people riding eScooters into town as if they were already legalised at a recent Coronavirus Briefing it seems clear the government will be legalising them.
"RIP. Dodged Covid-19. Not quick enough to dodge the eScooter"
I am of the opinion that e-scooters should only be made if they are legally obligated to have a sound system that blares "look at me, I'm a tosser" repeatedly at decent volume, so that I can hear the tossers coming, get out of the way and depending on how I feel point and laugh.
Getting repeatedly run over by the number 9 bus is too good for anyone riding one of those things...
I see a few escooters in my small unfashionable market town in the western spiral armpit of London. But last year someone whizzed past me on a skateboard, then stopped, bent down to press a button and zoomed off with the incredibly loud sound of a petrol engine. At least that one won’t be sneaking up on anybody...
I occasionally (once every 1-3 months) write "seque" on my sheet music** when one song ends and there's not a significant break (but there is *some* pause) before the next one, especially when a page turn is involved. Learned that back in high school being in the pit band for musical theater. (There was a different term for when the music takes ZERO break -- don't drop the beat -- between songs.)
** Church drummer: classic hymns to Southern gospel to contemporary Christian radio. I'm an old band geek, and my new set is a Roland almost-top-of-the-line digital so I can switch from rock to marches to bongos to timpani with just some buttons or the jog wheel.
I think this --> is the first time I've ever written "Segway" in any form. And likely the last, too. Thus the bastardized version dies and the original term lives on so long as there is musical and theatrical (including TV/films) performance.
I can remember the initial hype and chatter before any detail was provided - people were seriously thinking that Dean Kamen had invented an anti-gravity device.
When the actual device was revealed there was a collective "WTF?". Definitely clever technology at the time, but not the earth-shattering revelation that the drip-feed of comments of tech royalty (under NDAs no doubt) was allowed to imply.
I thin k the biggest problem with the C5 was the battery and motor tech wasn't yet their to cope with using proper wheels and a decent chassis. New materials science used across the board (chassis, body, drivetrain, motors, batteries) should be able to produce a much better C5-a-like nowadays. Although I'd still not like to use one on the public roads.
I remember the tech being used in a four wheel chair that could then stand on only two wheels bringing the occupant up to eye level with surrounding people. Whilst not light, I imagine the psychology gains would be great. But as with all disability aids the manufacturers were greedy cnuts and wanted about £45k for it back in 2005
It's already been done, by a company called Omeo in Otaki, New Zealand. A friend of ours has one of their (2-wheeled, obviously) wheelchairs, and she fair whizzes along the road on it. It works on the beach, too. Omeo are understandably trying to work out what the demise of the Segway means to them.
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