Connected Objects Personal Transportation

Atom Fliye connected hoverboard lets you zip, if not fly, around the neighborhood

Hoverboards have been heavily hyped for the past year or so despite the fact that none of them that have reached the market actually do what the name implies –- namely, hover above the ground in the air, like they did in the popular “Back to the Future” movies.

Atom Fliye is a connected hoverboard that has a single, wide wheel. It promises to travel 7 ½ miles on a single charge, and can go uphill and ride down stairs, as well as travel over rocky surfaces or grass, its makers say. A companion app is being developed for Android and iOS mobile devices that can be used to start the board. It also adds anti-theft functionality. The app shows users the exact speed the board is traveling at, mileage and battery-life. It also enables users to adjust everything on the board, including its speed.

Personal Transportation

MovPak hybrid backpack/skateboard takes on the daily grind

Despite its novel premise that combined a bookbag with a skateboard, the original MovPak Kickstarter campaign failed to secure enough funding for production, halting the dream of a more mobile commute for its team. Two years, a few tweaks, improvements, and a move to Indiegogo later, the improved MovPak is back for a second round.

In terms of the basic idea, the MovPak hasn’t changed drastically. The sizable, 17-pound book bag still hides a retractable electric skateboard within that uses a brushless motor powered by a lithium-ion battery for movement. Together, users can remotely control MovPak to achieve speeds of up to 20mph for a 10-mile range per charge.

Personal Transportation

Reincarnate reimagines the skateboard as an asphalt snowboard

Born in the empty pools under the baking Californian sun, skateboards have taken up residence as one of the foremost symbols of American pop culture and can be seen everywhere. Things like this gain a hallowed status, and because of that, nothing about their design changes much, limiting other possibilities that involve a board and four wheels.

patent-claimedUnless, of course, you add two more wheels, which is exactly what the Reincarnate does. Two caster wheels underneath the board rotate 360º, allowing the board to act more like a snowboard on asphalt. Maneuvers like making full spins and laterally carving the streets give the act of skateboarding a completely new dimension. It achieves this by including a split truck design that lets riders lean both left and right while still having all six wheels on the ground, something a similar product, the Freebord, can’t do.

Reincarnate is a neat take on the timeless skateboard design, and one that should catch the attention skaters looking for a different experience. Those looking for something a bit more futuristic can look toward Marbel or OneWheel.

The $120,000 campaign is offering the split trucks for installation on an existing skateboard for $220, while a full Reincarnate board is available for $430. Backers can expect either in February of this year.

Safety Sports

Rockochet makes sure debris doesn’t rock your skateboard’s world

A skateboarder’s biggest nemeses are the many rocks and random other debris that litter the floors of our cities. Unlike when we ride bikes and other modes of transports, rocks can be possible death knells for skateboarders. It completely and suddenly stops transportation, and the rider more than likely violently flies forward, sometimes into greater danger like a busy street.

The Rockochet is a small, lightweight attachment that connects to the trucks of a skateboard and acts as a miniature plow that deflects those dastardly, unforeseen rocks out of the way. The Rockochet is perfect for beginners and for those who simply cruise along rather than busting out hardcore tricks. The company stresses how out of the way its subtle design is, but pros probably wouldn’t want to add something like this on their board. For everyone else, the Rockochet deflector can be had for $15 to be delivered by March 2015. The campaign is looking for an infusion of $20,000 for production costs.


Chargers/Batteries Sports

Chargeboard is a rolling generator for a skater

Say what?! A skateboard that charges stuff? Yup. Chargeboard rolls around, generating its own power, and uses that energy to charge your devices. It delivers 5 Volt power to your iPhone by way of a convenient dock with enough juice to charge the phone up to eight times. Not only does it charge the phone while you’re just chilling, man, but it also lets you play music with an audio jack through Chargeboard’s speakers. An additional external USB port is compatible with lots of other devices as well, we’re talking to you Android. The skateboard itself is a sleek-looking wooden longboard. One will cost backers €380 or €360 if they’re early enough. This cool product from the Netherlands is hoping to raise €50,000 on Kickstarter. While Chargeboard is only really relevant to people who enjoy boarding, it’s still a cool product. Yes, it can play music and all that jazz, but it’s also an example of how easy it is to use renewable energy to power simple things. All in all, a fun product for boarders and a great example of sustainability in action.

Personal Transportation

Movpak goes from backpack to powered skateboard to conquer your commute

The Premise. Commuting to and from work in a car is bad for the environment. Those who can opt to use public transportation. However, this isn’t always the most convenient way, and some are stuck walking quite a bit to get to where they need to go. For those who are a bit lazier, driving becomes the more attractive option even if public transportation is available.

The Product. Movpak is a combination backpack and electric skateboard. What? Yes. It functions as a normal backpack, but when some help is needed to get somewhere, a foldable skateboard is released. Running on a battery, the skateboard goes up to 15mph with a range of about 9 miles. It’s rechargeable and takes two hours to juice up. With its battery, the backpack can also charge your devices on the go. The power for the board is controlled through a wireless remote. In terms of appearance, the backpack looks like any normal backpack, as does the skateboard.

The Pitch. Movpak’s campaign video shows commuters using the product in different settings. Some hop on after getting off the subway, while others putter around campus. Different riders in the video show how easily the skateboard attachment pops in and out of the backpack. This Kickstarter Staff Pick hopes to raise $100,000 in a 38-day campaign.

The Perks. Early birdies can get the Movpak for either $999 or $1,190. At a regular price of, $1,340 backers get the Movpak along with an extra backpack with choice of color. Movpak’s are expected to be delivered by May 2015.

The Potential. Personal transportation devices have become all the rage, especially electric ones. Many are rethinking the bicycle model for something a bit smaller and more portable. Scooters like the Halfbike and Me-Mover think that stand-up trikes are the solution, while others like Marbel prefer the electric skateboard model. Other products, like the Commute-Case combination scooter and briefcase, have kept the commuter in mind and combined cargo with transportation as the Movpak has done. One of the great things about Movpak is its sleek look and portability. The campaign fails to mention how heavy the Movpak is exactly, but carrying it on one’s back makes a heavier weight easier to tote around. Some may feel unsteady on a skateboard with no handle for balance, however, for college students and young professionals, Movpak is a great way to get around with lots of stuff.

Personal Transportation

Marbel may be the first electric skateboard to pass for a standard one

The Premise. Skateboarding and long boarding have become popular ways for urbanites to get around. Bicycles are great, but don’t allow riders to easily take the subway between rides if need be. Skateboards are generally more portable, but don’t always offer the power necessary to get where we need to go in a hurry.

The Product. Marbel is an electric skateboard that claims to be the most sophisticated in the world. Coming in at 9.9lbs, it is super lightweight and can travel up to 20mph. It comes with an iOS or Android app that allows the rider to customize and design their ride by setting the top speed and acceleration rate or the rider can use a handheld remote to control speed. The app shows a map with a range on it so that the rider knows how far the lithium battery will last in the board’s 10+ mile range. Marbel‘s battery charges from empty to full in 90 minutes and uses a universal charger. The deck is made of carbon fiber and kevlar to protect the battery in all conditions while also remaining lightweight. 

The Pitch. The campaign video shows the creator talking about creating Marbel as well as his goal for creating a sustainable form of transportation. Footage also shows the board zooming around the streets of Tampa, Florida and how smooth of a ride it provides. The rest of the campaign goes through the tech specs of the board as well as shows screenshots of the very sophisticated app in use. Marbel is going for a $90,000 goal in a 30-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Marbel offers two early-bird specials for the board at $999 and $1,099 for estimated delivery in October and November 2014 respectively. The regular price is set at $1,199 and offers backers the basic package of the board, remote and app with delivery in January 2015. For a fully customized board, backers can choose the $1,999 tier which gives the backer choices of color for the wheels and deck also with delivery in January 2015. Tiers go up to $5,000.

The Potential. Marbel is indeed as sophisticated and sleek as it claims. It provides great speed, control and portability for those who like boarding about. We’ve seen similar electric skateboards recently, like the Baja Board. The Baja Board boasts speed and power, but looks very clunky, and mountain bike-like for a board. Marbel is much sleeker, discreet and lighter making it a very cool option for urbanites looking for new ways to get around.

Personal Transportation

No hoverboard, no problem: Baja Board would leave it in the dust

bajaboardEver long for more speed when riding a skateboard or longboard? The BajaBoard combines the basic structure of a skateboard with a little bit more umph under the deck. This powered device can reach a speed of up to 50 km/hr and has a power rating of 1,200W with a 3,000W motor. Shock absorbers like those found on a mountain bike guarantee a smooth ride. One of these Aussie made products costs backers a whopping base price of $3,850 AUD with rising prices once the early tiers are gone with an estimated delivery date of December 2014. BajaBoard needs to raise $200,000 AUD on Kickstarter in a 30-day campaign.

Personal Transportation

Onewheel rolls through the middle of an electric skateboard

The Premise. Lots of folks love to use their skateboards but are tired of having to kick their way through town. Maybe the shock inflicted by every little crack or pebble they roll over with their existing board is too much or they want a more enjoyable means of transport. Or maybe they just love to surf or snowboard and still itch for the slopes and the surf even with no powder or waves to shred.

The Product. Meant to satisfy that itch while being super-intuitive and easy to use, the Onewheel is the latest in electric skateboards. It looks like a skateboard with a go-cart wheel sticking up through the middle of it, allowing you to put your feet on either side of, kind of like those pogo-balls from the ’80s.

The Pitch. The campaign video artistically and professionally depicts Onewheel riders rolling and carving through city streets, turning the heads of the hip, urban youth as they do. A comprehensive chart of components leads into a by a detailed breakdown of their attributes/technical specs. An extremely comprehensive shipping production chart is provided, and all pics are pertinent and professional. The campaign highlights Onewheel’s construction attributes, like its 6061 billet aluminum frame, its brushless, direct-drive hub motor, and Canadian maple deck, as well as its inventor’s and technician’s well-established qualifications. A little more explanation of how a motorized wheel’s only moving part can be the wheel seems warranted, however. Pictures of high-tech production equipment that looks like something you’d find on a nuclear sub, and terms like algorithms, gyroscopes and accelerometers, even when duly explained, can still fly well over the layman’s head.

The Perks. The Onewheel is not a toy, unless your kid is Richie Rich. One (blue) Onewheel can be had for a backing of no less than $1,299. Be prepared to shell out another c-note for the 20-min charger, and another three on top of that if you want to choose from the black or pink options. The Potential. The Onewheel provides only 20 minutes of ride time per one-hour charge (20-minute with a high-speed charger). Despite that, it still seems like it would be that must-have plaything of the cool people if it didn’t cost those cool people a few months’ worth of not-so-cool rent.