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"IT" will be revealed- "UPDATE" - Page 2

post #41 of 86
The patent illustration had it right... it's a gyroscopic scooter that takes a hint from the IBOT 3000 wheelchair.
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post #42 of 86
This was on <a href="http://www.drudgereport.com" target="_blank">The Drudge Report</a> for awhile:

New York -- Dean Kamen's long-awaited, secret invention, the Segway "will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy," he tells TIME on the eve of his product's unveiling.

Kamen imagines them everywhere: in parks and at Disneyland, on battlefields and factory floors, but especially on downtown sidewalks from Seattle to Shanghai. "Cars are great for going long distances," Kamen says, "but it makes no sense at all for people in cities to use a 4,000-lb. piece of metal to haul their 150-lb asses around town."

In the future he envisions, cars will be banished from urban centers to make room for millions of "empowered pedestrians" - empowered, naturally, by Kamen's brainchild, reports John Heilemann in next week's issue.

The invention is set to be unveiled Monday morning during ABC's GOOD MORNING AMERICA.

MORE

The Segway is a self-balancing people mover - powered by batteries and controlled by tilt-sensors and five solid state gyroscopes - that looks like a rotary lawnmower. The magic is in the balancing act ð no matter how hard you try, it won't let you fall.

For the past three months, Kamen allowed TIME behind the veil of secrecy as he and his team grappled with the questions that they will confront - about everything from safety and pricing to the challenges of launching a product with the country at war and the economy in recession.

There is no denying that the Segway, previously code-named "IT" and "Ginger," is an engineering marvel, reports Heilemann, who rode on the machine many times. Developed at a cost of more than $100 million, Kamenis vehicle is a complex bundle of hardware and software that mimics the human bodyis ability to maintain its balance. Not only does it have no brakes, but also no engine, no throttle, no gearshift, and no steering wheel. And it can carry the average rider for a full day, nonstop, on only five cents' worth of electricity.

Kamen explains how the Segway works: "When you walk, youire really in whatis called a controlled fall. You off-balance yourself, putting one foot in front of the other and falling onto them over and over again. In the same way, when you use a Segway, thereis a gyroscope that acts like your inner ear, a computer that acts like your brain, motors that act like your muscles, wheels that act like your feet. Suddenly, you feel like you have on a pair of magic sneakers, and instead of falling forward, you go sailing across the room."

As Kamen and his team were working on the IBOT wheelchair ð a six-wheel machine that goes up and down curbs, cruises effortlessly through sand or gravel, and climbs stairs - it dawned on them that they were onto something bigger. "We realized we could build a device using very similar technology that could impact how everybody gets around," he says. The IBOT was also the source of Gingeris mysterious codename. "Watching the IBOT, we used to say, ÈLook at that light, graceful robot, dancing up the stairsi
post #43 of 86
Neat-o.
I'm not going anywhere.
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post #44 of 86
The <a href="http://www.drudgereport.com/matt91j.htm" target="_blank">latest Drudge</a>.

The <a href="http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=4&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=Kamen&OS= Kamen&RS=Kamen" target="_blank">patent application</a>.

[edit by Amorph: Fixed long URL]

[ 02-21-2002: Message edited by: Amorph ]</p>
post #45 of 86
post #46 of 86
The New York Times has a picture and description of the gyroscopically stabilized and controlled two wheel <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/03/technology/03THIN.html" target="_blank">Segway Human Transporter</a>.



I'd rather have a nice G4 with Cinema Display.

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"The only laptop computer that's useful is the one you have with you."
Until we get a 3 lbs sub-PowerBook, the 12-inch PowerBook will do.
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post #47 of 86
damn it! I wanted to fly!!
Oh well I didnt have much hope in that any way. Still cool. I would love to zip around on one! Ill buy one in 5 years for $600 and -40 lbs. And I don't think that is to far out there. Look at it, its in its infant stage.
We now also see why Jobs said the design sucks. Its takes its look from the "big wheel" series of transportation. )
post #48 of 86
<img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />

[ 12-02-2001: Message edited by: G Fresh ]</p>
post #49 of 86
Steve Jobs can seriously make me feel ill sometimes.
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post #50 of 86
<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/03/technology/03THIN.html" target="_blank">New York Times article</a>
post #51 of 86
[quote] If the Postal Service and FedEx deploy this for all their carriers, the company will be busy for the next five years just keeping up with that demand<hr></blockquote>

Somehow I don't see a FedEx delivery person carrying a truckload of packages on his back.
post #52 of 86
$3000 for that? Hmmmmm. Sure if you live in Florida or California that might work, but it gets cold half of the year where I live.

Andy Rooney did a little story once on 60 minutes about a scooter he bought. He rode it through the streets and overall it worked pretty good. I guess if you live in a metro city with expensive parking and you can't stand public transportation then maybe it's not a bad idea. But is IT revolutionary? Hell no!
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post #53 of 86
Maybe not revolutionary for the short-sighted or those among us with retarded attention spans, but you'll take special care to notice the name of the thing: Segway.

For those of us not knowing what "segue" means, here is a definition: 'proceed to what follows without pause'

This is a (bear with me) segue to the future of urban transportation. . .

"It doesn't solve all human problems, it sucks!"
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post #54 of 86
Hmmmm. A scooter that goes 12 MPH (max), and prevents you from falling. An interesting device. For $3000, it's too expensive for me, and definitely not as practical as a computer. In fact, I don't even know how I could use it.

First of all, I can't believe this guy is from New Hampshire.

It gets cold up here! Doesn't this guy see the ice and snow out the windows? They don't exactly have 'sidewalks' up here either unless you live in a larger city like Nashua, Manchester, or Concord.

On the other hand, if it had been something like the hovercraft device they were talking about, it would be a LOT more practical. Considering you would completely avoid the ground and could glide above the snow line, it would be much cooler.

I don't really want to bash the device without seeing it, but I'm just not sure what to think of it. Obviously, this has been a project of major hype and media attention, and we all had high hopes for IT.

I just don't know how this could benefit me, and considering that everyone was supposed to buy and own one, I don't see a reason to at all.

Anyone else as :confused: as I am?
post #55 of 86
Well that thing is never going to make it in the UK for 1 big reason
It will be banned allmost instantly
As it is motorised (it has to be at least as fast as pedal bike to be any good) you will not be able to use it on the pavement (sidewalk). They have allready attempted to ban Microscooters, and people have been fined and there licences endorsed using powered scooters (Goped's) in pedestionised (no car) areas.
Mark my words some one using this will run into an old lady and it will be classed as a motor scooter. Requiring a Licence, insurance, the rider to wear a crash helmit, and it to be used on the road and not the pavement (sidewalk). Do you want to ride that thing in traffic?
&lt;aside&gt; Very clever people have lost 10000's of pounds before on the 'Future of personal transportation'<a href="http://www.sinclairc5.co.uk/" target="_blank"></a>

[ 12-03-2001: Message edited by: Mediaman ]</p>
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post #56 of 86
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post #57 of 86
This seems like an interesting invention, but can you imagine a down to earth person riding this? They would become the laughing stock of the office / school.

Seriously..
post #58 of 86
Who the hell is stupid enough not to see the promise of this brilliant device? In ten years, these will be as ubiquitous as the PC.

Let's just hope people start working out more often, because this device will also create billions of obese, out-of-shape people.
post #59 of 86
This is certainly a cool device. The more I think about it the more potential it has. It could conceivably reduce city conjestion. I don't think it would be much help in suburban areas, but as the population of the world becomes more urban (a trend that is speeding up apparently) it could really take off in terms of sales.

We will have to wait and see. It won't replace the car, but it may become VERY popular in cities as mentioned above for those who have short commutes. Its range is limited to 15 miles on a charge and it weighs 70lbs...so there are some limitations. Forget about hauling it up a flight of stairs....though that shoudln't be needed to much, I suppose. In suburbia, it could be used for very short trips to convenient store, etc.

Overall, I think it will be best for people that can replace their vehicle or subway ride with it.
Those who commute more than a few miles to work can't do that and even if it comes down in price to $3k...it will be a luxury for them .

Interesting. We'll see......
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post #60 of 86
how much does it cost?
post #61 of 86
tonton- It's not about the promise of the device in the future, it's the immediate limitations that have people upset. Can you imagine what would happen if people went into Manhattan and expected to use one of these things? Plus, what happens when there is snow or ice on the ground?

It's limitations like these and speed and weight issues that have people shrugging their shoulders.

Plus, you have to admit that its a little pricey.
post #62 of 86
[quote]Originally posted by Fran441:
<strong>tonton- It's not about the promise of the device in the future, it's the immediate limitations that have people upset. Can you imagine what would happen if people went into Manhattan and expected to use one of these things? Plus, what happens when there is snow or ice on the ground?

It's limitations like these and speed and weight issues that have people shrugging their shoulders.

Plus, you have to admit that its a little pricey.</strong><hr></blockquote>

What did the Newton cost when it came out? How about the 2100MP?

Which is more useful? (I know the answer from Fran before I even ask )

I'm surprised he didn't or doesn't go with a M-B or BMW co-branding option. Because for NOW, it is mostly for affluent, techno-geeks. Much like some fair-weathered toys with luxury brands.

Hey! That kind of sums up the Newtons, too! :0

JRC
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post #63 of 86
How does one keep others from stealing it once you go from Pt. A to Pt. B?

Chas
post #64 of 86
[quote]Plus, what happens when there is snow or ice on the ground?<hr></blockquote>

The Segway can handle snow, ice, water, sand and gravel.

[quote]I'm surprised he didn't or doesn't go with a M-B or BMW co-branding option. Because for NOW, it is mostly for affluent, techno-geeks. Much like some fair-weathered toys with luxury brands.<hr></blockquote>

Read the TIME article and you will know why.

Kamen spent 10 years and 100 million dollars developing the Segway. He is setting up a brand new production line and dealing with marketing the product.

He wants it to be cheaper, and it will be cheaper, once things get moving. He isn't looking for it to be a yuppie toy, which it would be forever if BMW or Mercedees got their hands on it.
post #65 of 86
huh?
How fast can IT go and do I need a driver license?
Is a helmet mandatory?
What happens when it rains?
Can you change tires according to the season?
Is insurance expensive?
Where can I put my shopping basket?
How far can I drive before it needs a pit stop?
Can I drive IT in the dark?
Would I want one?
huh?

I guess the answer is always 42.....
post #66 of 86
my belief is that everyone here who is nay-saying the device will change their tune once they actually get ON one. i'll bet you'll hand over your credit card despite your good judgement.

heck, i am shocked that so many people in forums devoted to the mac, which has made its business off of not being the cheapest. how many times have we used the defense, in the face of the microsoft/intel juggernaut, that you just have to USE a mac to understand? yet here, everyone seems to be bashing it on price first-and-foremost, and ignoring the potential, as well as what it offers right now.

i personally have a lot of back, knee and hip problems, and i am only 27. it hurts every morning to get up, and long-walks are out of the question, much less cycle-riding. i can't afford a car, parking permit, and insurance, especially since i live in the city. but this might be exacly what the doctor ordered.

of course, is it just me, or does anyone else think mr. kamen invented this device so he could appear taller around town (he's a little fella!)
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Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

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post #67 of 86
FYI:

<a href="http://www.segway.com" target="_blank">www.segway.com</a>

There's a pretty cool video of it at the site.

It'd be nice if they cut out half of the taxi's in NYC and replaced em with these baby's. Ah...fresh air. What a dream.

I wonder when the traffic cops will get em.
post #68 of 86
It really is amazing how stupid purported technophiles can make themselves when they really want to.

Is this just sour grapes that he didn't unveil some anti-gravity device? Is it jealousy?

[quote]I guess the answer is always 42.....<hr></blockquote>

No, there are two answers:
1) Read the articles, half your questions are answered in them.
2) Use your brain, the other half *should* be answered then.

[quote]How fast can IT go and do I need a driver license?<hr></blockquote>

12mph (answered by a cursory read of the articles)
Will be determined by state and local governments as the thing is introduced. Kamen is hoping that it won't require any licensing and that a Segway user will be viewed as a regular pedestrian. (read the articles)

[quote]Is a helmet mandatory?<hr></blockquote>

Do you have to wear a helmet to walk?

[quote]What happens when it rains?<hr></blockquote>

Water collects in large moisture gatherings in the sky called "clouds", and when enough water gathers in one spot and the "cloud" is unable to support the weight the "drop" of water falls to the ground.

I don't think they put the motherboards and processors on the outside so there shouldn't be many worries here.

[quote]Can you change tires according to the season?<hr></blockquote>

No. They can make this thing self-balancing but different types of tires? No possibility.

[quote]Is insurance expensive?<hr></blockquote>

Yes.

[quote]Where can I put my shopping basket?<hr></blockquote>

Do you attach shopping baskets to your car? Do you walk to the grocery store?

[quote]How far can I drive before it needs a pit stop?<hr></blockquote>

15 miles. (Read the article)

[quote]Can I drive IT in the dark?<hr></blockquote>

Nope, it has special sensors that detect nighttime and it refuses to function at that point. Also, the concept of a small headlight is probably beyond these people that developed a wheelchair that can climb stairs and stand upright.
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post #69 of 86
I was thinking what you said groverat.

It's amazing how much energy people's imaginations put into what they thought this device might be. It's pathetic how so many have turned their imaginations off now that they know what the device is.

In an idealistic way, the sociological and environmental impact of the Segway HT stands to be enormous. And if anyone doesn't understand how, they must have either spent their entire lives on a farm and think people enjoy the congestion of living in cities or have no imagination. Or both.

[ 12-03-2001: Message edited by: seb ]</p>
post #70 of 86
Luddites
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post #71 of 86
[quote]Originally posted by seb:
<strong>
It'd be nice if they cut out half of the taxi's in NYC and replaced em with these baby's. Ah...fresh air. What a dream.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Steve Jobs saw the Segway HT early on but the Segway site only features WMP and Real videos of the thing. WTF?

Escher
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post #72 of 86
This page has all three media types:

<a href="http://www.segway.com/consumer/connect/multimedia.html" target="_blank">http://www.segway.com/consumer/connect/multimedia.html</a>

By the way, this link at abc news has a pic of a Segway with what appear to be saddlebags and a basket attached. <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/sections/GMA/GoodMorningAmerica/GMA011203What_IT_is.html" target="_blank">link</a>
post #73 of 86
Personally, I think that this is a great idea that will work its way into urban settings quite comfortably. I don't see it being much more of a toy in suburban settings, but still I can imagine myself taking a quick jaunt on one to the local grocery on a nice day... bit too long for a walk, but seems a shame to burn the gas.

My sister lives in Brooklyn and didn't own a car for years. When she was pregnant, it was a real hassle for her to get around to the market, the subway, etc. Something like this would have been a real godsend for her.

I'm also thinking of my trip to Greece earlier this year. There were nearly as many scooters and mopeds as cars in downtown Athens... I have no problem imagining SegWays becoming the transportation method of choice for many in such places, if the price drops significantly below that of an average scooter.

Quiet, efficient, easy to operate, safe, and cool... seems like a winner to me.

And... this is just the first model...
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post #74 of 86
[quote]Originally posted by gEEk:
<strong>And... this is just the first model...</strong><hr></blockquote>

There you go...

There will be an "All-terrain Edition", a "Shopping Edition", a "BMW Luxury Edition", a "Junior Edition", a "Titanium Edition" (lighter weight), a "Large Edition" (improving upon the current 250lb limit, etc.

The reason it travels at 12 MPH is because it has been limited to do so for safety reasons. Theoretically, "Segway Highways" could be built in certain areas allowing for faster travel. Perhaps the Segway could be built with a sensor that detects when it's on a "Highway", allowing it to travel to 20 MPH or more.

The disabled stand to gain hugely from this device:

One major effect of this device is that wheelchair access will be improved.

Another is that semi-disabled people will gain full mobility.

Even though this device uses balance to control the throttle, there's no reason another form of throttle control could be used to allow people with Parkinson's and similar movement limiting disabilities to use the device.

Custom modified versions can be created for the specific needs of the disabled.

I agree with Steve Jobs completely. Cities will be modified to accommodate this device. The unpainted design is ugly (like it's for hospital use) but we all know custom paint jobs are right around the corner.

There can even be one built with Harmon Kardon speakers on the handlebars and a cool little iPod mounting system!
post #75 of 86
Segway is cool, even my troglodytic parents think so. Give the Segway a few years to mature and grow as a concept and it will fly...not literally.

I want one...
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post #76 of 86
[quote]Originally posted by Eugene:
<strong>Segway is cool, even my troglodytic parents think so. Give the Segway a few years to mature and grow as a concept and it will fly...not literally.

I want one...</strong><hr></blockquote>

What's stopping it? I think it will fly, literally. I want one, too. It will replace the little k2 kickboard I got for riding to the bus stop (but that thing is pretty cool, so maybe not)
post #77 of 86
torifile, well, it uses gravity to work its wonders...with the gyroscopes. The minute you take the ground out from underneath it, you start falling..you have no weight. unless you're thinking of using a jet engine or rotor underneath to apply force in the opposite direction. If you're thinking about using planes to induce lift, that wouldn't work...you wouldn't have the luxury of being able to stop.
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post #78 of 86
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>It really is amazing how stupid purported technophiles can make themselves when they really want to.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

o.k. then

..but i'd prefer a scooter then, it can go farther, it drives at night, it protects a little against weather, it only needs a pit stop every 100 miles or so, and it comes at $ 2000 less. Scooter one, IT nil.

When talking fashionable coolness I guess it would be IT one score, scooter nil however.

But I doubt that it sells well, given that those small European cars like Fiat stand no chance on the American market, so why should the average American now drive in something that is even smaller?
post #79 of 86
Actually Kate, I have a '79 Vespa 100cc scooter, and rusty as it may be, i get people of all walks of life asking me about it, talking about vespas, etc. They are especially hip amongst the arty crowd, which is handy, cuz I am an art student.

Depends on the scooter. More chrome=more cool. More 60's Mod-ish, the cooler still.
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post #80 of 86
[quote]Originally posted by seb:
<strong>This page has all three media types:

<a href="http://www.segway.com/consumer/connect/multimedia.html" target="_blank">http://www.segway.com/consumer/connect/multimedia.html</a></strong><hr></blockquote>

Thanks, seb. I was digging around on the "business" side of the site, assuming that there would be better quality video there. Oddly enough, the video page for business customers only contains WMP and Real files, while the page for consumers also includes QT files.

As with most new technology, the early adopters will have to plow the way for the mass market. Who imagined they wouldn't be able to live without a computer ten years ago? Did you know what e-mail was in 1991? Could you live without it today? There's a good chance that once I can legally go anywhere with a Segway, that I won't think twice about buying one.

I'm still worried about bumping into peope at rush hour. It's one thing to have a close encounter when walking at 3 mph, I imagine it's much more dangerous at 15 mph.

Escher
"The only laptop computer that's useful is the one you have with you."
Until we get a 3 lbs sub-PowerBook, the 12-inch PowerBook will do.
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