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

Walk Wing gives you wheels while you trudge through your commute

In malls across America, kids are joyously sliding around at any opportunity using the Heelys at their feet. Any self-respecting adult wouldn’t dare strap a pair up, though, even if it means ignoring the obvious comfort and utility they would provide during daily commutes. While all sorts of choices exist for speedier commutes, people still want the versatility of being able to walk without lugging around an entire bike, for instance. This is where the Walk Wing comes in.

The Walk Wing are essentially Heelys for adults, featuring four retractable wheels: two up front and two in the back. Its ability to switch between the two modes gives people the option to take a walk if they want to or speed up if they’re in a hurry. An adjustable ankle and heel strap makes it simple to slip on, and multiple wheel caps in different colors and patterns let users personalize their set however they see fit.

Personal Transportation

A Segway evolved, RevoBot lets you roll on to wherever

Remember the Segway? It was touted as revolutionizing personal transportation device, but ended up being the preferred ride of Hollywood mall cops. Still, the bulky and expensive device inspired many to come up with something between a bicycle and a car.

RevoBot is a relatively lightweight, single-axle, two-wheeled balancing personal transporter that allows users to travel up to seven miles per hour. The Bluetooth-enabled device can be connected to a smartphone, enabling users to listen to music while traveling. Other features include a Samsung lithium ion battery that takes two hours to charge, along with LED lights for safety in the dark and low-light environments. It is being offered in a choice of five color options. RevoBot will retail for $1,000 and ships in September. Its maker set an Indiegogo campaign goal of raising $20,000 by August 4.

The intelligent body gravity board doesn’t feature any handles, so it could be harder to operate RevoBot than a Segway. But RevoBot’s maker says it’s easy to learn, with the average time for a beginner to get used to it only about 10-15 minutes. Larger drawbacks for some consumers could be the fact that it’s only been tested for users up to 230 pounds, and that it can only travel 10-12 miles on one charge. Of lesser concern is that although it was designed for indoor and outdoor use, its tires weren’t designed to be used on dirt roads. All in all, RevoBot seems like a fun gadget for the well-balanced to possibly save some time dashing through buildings.

Personal Transportation

Virtue Pedalist combine car and motorcycle, makes Smart cars feel fat

Cars are a costly necessity for many consumers who need a way to travel to and from work each day where there are no public transportation options. In addition to the upfront cost to buy a car, there’s the frequent need to buy fuel that’s bad for the environment and the, hopefully less frequent, need to repair the vehicle.

Virtue Pedalist, the latest vehicle from company Virtue Cycles, combines elements of an electric bicycle, cargo bike, velomobile (bicycle/car combination) and a tadpole tricycle (a recumbent tricycle with two front wheels). It has two front wheels, one rear wheel, and an outer shell that shields the driver from sun, wind and rain. There are three modes of riding it: pure pedaling, pedal assist in which its electric motor multiplies the user’s pedaling power, and electric-only throttle mode.

Although riders can cycle as fast as they want with the first two modes, the throttle-only speed is limited to 20 miles per hour so that it can be legally classified as a tricycle, rather than a moped or scooter, under regulations in California and most other U.S. states, according to its Kickstarter campaign. The Pedalist will cost $4,499 and ship in November. The company is hoping to raise $100,000 by May 21.

Cycling Kids/Babies

Swedish Påhoj offers a stroller and bike seat in one for the young on the run

Travelling with a toddler or small child can be quite the chore. Especially when you consider carseats, strollers, and other safety measures that must be taken.

The Swedish-made Påhoj hopes to make transporting kids a bit easier. This combination child bike seat and stroller clips onto bikes, but also has wheels for ground travel. The black seat looks like a much sleeker bike seat with holes in the back for ventilation. It comes equipped with foot rests and a retractable handle that stays out of the way on a bike, but comes in handy for the stroller. Påhoj is lightweight and has an adjustable harness for kids of different sizes.

The only thing missing from Påhoj’s campaign is specification of which ages the product is appropriate for. Other than that, this product will definitely come in handy for parents, especially those in bike-friendly cities and countries. One will cost kr2,260 (~$249) with estimated delivery in December 2015. Påhoj is looking for kr500,000 (~$57,800) in funding on Kickstarter.

Personal Transportation

Pigeon folding scooter rests on your shoulder

There’s always a caveat to the type of transportation you choose to reduce the length of your commute. With a car, there’s inevitably traffic. Most people opt for public transport to avoid this, but the problem lies in most stops not being close to home. You could cut down walk time by riding an electric scooter there, but then you’re forced to leave it. Likewise, bicycles make you the target of combined commuter hatred at the height of rush hour. Push scooters offer a great balance between the two, but can weigh a lot. PIGEON is a foldable push scooter designed to improve your commute. Consisting of just three parts made from aluminum and wood, the PIGEON can be folded into a thin profile with a single foot press and slung over the shoulder. Even if the price is bit bloated considering the materials, the portability of this product separates it from others like the ion Smartscooter or the Me-Mover that may offer the same, but still weigh a ton while doing so. Backers can expect their own in May 2015 for £135 (~$216). PIGEON hopes to raise a modest £2,000 (~$3,200) on Kickstarter.

Personal Transportation

Ion Smartscooter looks like non-electric models, gets you on your way

The last miles of any commute are some of the most painful. Who wants to walk twenty minutes at the very beginning of the day or after having worked eight hours every day? Although there are some solutions, bikes and scooters are either too bulky to transport easily or too dirty in terms of fuel.

Probity Cell LLC has created the ion SmartScooter as a low-cost, clean alternative that will get you where you need to go, fast. It’s top speed of 15mph is powered by a lithium-ion battery that charges in three and a half hours and lasts for more than 1,000 cycles, ensuring a long and sustainable life. In addition, its foldable nature makes it so that it can be more easily transported than a bike, especially because it only weighs 26 pounds. The ion SmartScooter joins scads of other personal transportation devices like the Me-Mover and Halfbike.

The company is starting off slow with just two production runs, but they want to minimize any issues through their Kickstarter campaign. They were aiming for a modest $40,000 to do so, a goal that has shown interest by many. If they’re able to back up their claim of squeezing 500 miles out of the scooter for less than a dollar’s worth of electricity, they’ll be able to convince many more to grab one of their own for the introductory price of $399.




Pedal Pockets keep bike pedals safe from causing scrapes and dents

pedalpocketsWho doesn’t love hitching some bikes to the roof rack and heading out on a trail or an adventure? Well, for those that have scraped the dense, rough pedals against the side of their car’s paint job, they know that a little unforeseen damage can put a damper on any ride. Out of Denver, Colorado comes Pedal Pockets, a simple, polyester-coated foam slip-on that fastens right onto bike pedals with Velcro to keep them from damaging anything they come in contact with. Pedal Pockets take only a few seconds to put on or take off, and are soft enough to reduce most impacts. People pondering pledges to Pedal Pockets can pocket a pair for $15, delivered in June.

Personal Transportation

Folding Me-Mover vertical trike has powered option

The Premise. People choose to ride their bikes or longboards around instead of cars for a multitude of reasons: fresh air, exercise, environmental awareness and frugality to name a few. Those who live in cities are especially prone to seeking alternative forms of transportation more suited to their urban lifestyles.

The Product. Me-Mover is a personal transportation product. The stand-up tricycle has two wheels in the back and one in the front, this product is self-powered by pedals that the rider shifts their weight like an elliptical machine. The Me-Mover features hand brakes and even folds up for extra convenience. Currently, the Mover comes in either black, white, blue or red. This  device has fixed gearing with a variable output to make for a smooth ride.

The Pitch. The campaign begins with a short video of the Danish creator talking about his product, along with footage of young Danish folk zipping around Copenhagen on their Me-Movers. The rest discusses the physical benefits of this product and how joggers, cyclists and skiers will all enjoy riding it. Me-Mover hopes to raise $100,000 in its 32-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Early backers can enjoy the black Me-Mover for only $899 or $999 with their choice of color. Reward tiers go all the way up to $6,000 with expected delivery dates of August and October 2014. For $25 backers can vote on different add-ons they’d like to see with this product. Different levels of stretch goals (which go up to $1.3 million) include developing the most popular voted add-on as well as a luggage rack, custom parts and an Android and IOS exercise app.

The Potential. Me-Mover’s sleekness and versatility will certainly make it a worthy alternative to the bicycle. Other products have tried to come match to the convenience of a bicycle, but rarely get close, much like the Halfbike. Me-Mover’s add-ons, portability and ease-of-use make it a strong contender in the eco-friendly transportation market.

Personal Transportation

Halfbike breeds a sawed-off scooter and tricycle for urban transport, exercise

The Premise. Urbanites don’t love cars and instead find alternative forms of mobility. Public transportation is a good idea in theory, but delays and unreliability spell trouble for people in cities. Most opt for some kind of personal transport that they own or rent such as skateboards, rollerblades or the ever popular bicycle.

The Product. Halfbike is a personal transportation device that looks a bit like a manually-operated Segway. It features one big wheel in front and two small wheels in the back. The rider pedals just like on a traditional bike, but stands directly on the pedals, which is why the creators say that their product combines jogging and cycling. A long wooden shaft rises up from the front wheel with a single handle on top for the rider to hold onto, steer, and brake with.

The Pitch. The campaign for Halfbike begins with a video of the token “cool urbanite” riding the product around a busy city. The viewer recognizes his coolness from the hoodie he wears and he glides around with ease, even doing tricks off of staircases and skittering over streetcar tracks. Despite his finesse and agility, the rider still looks a little silly cutting through the crowds with this odd device. Halfbike’s creators hope to raise $80,000 in its 31-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Halfbike is certainly not half the price. Early-birds can enjoy zipping around the city for $799, with a regular price of $899. Tiers go all the way up to $7,000 which includes a trip to bike-friendly Amsterdam. Estimated delivery date is currently set at September 2014 for the bikes themselves. A stretch goal of $150,000 would allow the creators to begin offering different colored versions of their product.

The Potential. No matter how technologically advanced the world gets, people will always search for alternative means of transportation. The Halfbike, while an interesting idea, doesn’t quite look finished. The bare wooden plank in the center and the white metal frame make it seem more like a prototype. It may be good for the creators to attempt to “hip” it up a bit, especially if their target market is comprised of young, cool urbanites. Still, the Halfbike’s versatility cannot be ignored and its size, definitely smaller than a bicycle, offers a much more convenient option for young people on the go.