Connected Objects Personal Transportation

This compact scooter can take you wherever you Zar

That pesky last mile: the scourge of all commuters worldwide. After a long day spent working, the last thing anyone wants to do is extend their trip by another 20-minute walk. Fortunately, the last few years have seen an explosion of options. The Zar by Crazyfire Technology is another.

While claims of having created the world’s best anything is usually met with doubt, Crazyfire’s Zar might just be the lightest, smallest e-scooter to date. Weighing in just 8.8lbs, with a length of almost one and a half feet and a height of almost 4 feet, the Zar is tiny enough to be folded up into a bookbag. This is due to the aluminum and fiberglass construction of its frame. The Zar boasts a 6.2 to 12.5-mile range depending on the battery configuration, with both being able to reach a top speed of 12.5mph.

Personal Transportation

Grandma can burn rubber with the Liberty Electric Scooter

One of the biggest challenges for generally immobile seniors is a short list of choices. For the most part, bicycles can be dangerous and mobility scooters leave them stationary even while going places. Unfortunately, the scooter—the most widely available and accepted option—is heavy, cumbersome, and robs seniors of the opportunity to be active, a problem that leads to so many others.

Electric Bike Technologies has a noble aim: give seniors their sense of freedom back so they can go anywhere and do anything they’d like. To do so, they’ve created the Liberty Electric Tricycle. It combines an electric motor with a sturdy and compact American-made frame for an alternative mobility solution emphasizing activity over stagnation.

Luggage and Bags

BackTPack splits the backpack to create personal saddle bags

Backpacks can be a great way for commuters to tote things, but when they aren’t worn correctly, they can cause back pain. BackTPack is a redesigned backpack that balances the weight of items so that it’s evenly distributed on both sides of the body. This helps to protect the back from the issues associated with poor posture and traditional backpacks.

While it’s not the most fashionable looking item to wear, it seems like it may offer more convenience because of the side access, and perhaps better protection from items getting stolen than what a traditional backpack would offer. Since the weight is redistributed, the load also feels lighter than with a traditional backpack. Other backpack campaigns that backers may want to check out are Riutbag and Zondo. This campaign seeks to raise $20,000 by December 11, 2014. For $75, early bird backers get one product with an expected delivery of April 2014.

Personal Transportation

URB-E personal transporter gets you around, won’t weigh you down

The Premise. That last leg of the commuter’s long journey is the distance between the train station or bus stop and the front door…the dreaded last mile. With no room on public transport for a bike, and no room in a grown adult’s life for a freakin’ scooter! (dopey razor kind, not retiree’s mobility kind)… however will one traverse it? Walk? Pashaw!

The Product. The URB-E is a folding electric mini-bike which collapses down to roughly the size of a rolling oxygen tank. This funky little take on the commuter vehicle comes in Carbon Grey, Cloud White, or “GoGo Green,” main colors (with Polished Gold and MRDR Black premium options), with accent choices of black, blue, white, hot pink, or orange. The rear-wheel assembly is modular, allowing users to switch between three-wheeled URB-E Commuter and two-wheeled URB-E GP versions, which provide optimal performance in slow populated conditions or faster open conditions, respectively (alternate wheel assembly sold as optional accessory).

The Pitch. Five, that’s right, FIVE videos outline everything from the URB-E’s marketing campaign and development to its adventures in the orient and rivalry with a gorilla. Clear and numerous pictures depict URB-E’s color options and smartphone-aware charging station (which will soon include an app to track range, battery life, speed, and even lighting). A three hour charge, a 36V battery and a 250W motor achieve URB-E’s 15mph top speed (max for electric mobility vehicles), 20-mile range, and a 250lb load capacity — pretty impressive for something that weighs less than your kids’ BMX bikes. Finally, URB-E’s development team’s references include the likes of Vans, Nike, Porsche, Samsung, and Disney, to name a few.

The Perks. Available in August 2014, the traditional options include: $1599 extra early backer with exclusive color, $1699 early backer, $1799 purchaser, and even a $250 down payment/reserve option, which locks in promotional price. Awesome options include: $999 race the gorilla option (to secure a chance to race the aforementioned gorilla. Seriously.), and a $20K “first model off the line,” option.

The Potential. With other compact products out there like the Yikebike Fusion, and the boxy Kickstarter alum Zeit-Eco (which is comparable in range and price, and includes built-in sound), commuters have emerging alternatives including many electric bike. However, with a 20-mile range and a design that can go basically anywhere, the URB-E is definitely worth a serious commuter’s second look.