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Marbel electric skateboard lets you control your ride with an iOS app

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
City commuters who prefer to get from their homes to their offices by longboard will soon have a new, lighter option that works with their iOS device in the form of the Marbel electric skateboard, which is seeking last-minute funding on Kickstarter where it has already blown past its initial goal.




Touted as the world's lightest electric skateboard at just 9.9 pounds, the Marbel sports a custom-molded deck made of carbon fiber and kevlar. The board's batteries sit in a compartment inside the deck, while motors mounted on the rear axle are said to have enough power to propel the board uphill at up to 20 miles per hour for 10 miles.

Riders can control the Marbel using a handheld remote throttle or via touch controls in a companion iPhone app. The app also allows owners to choose different "modes" for Marbel's power circuitry, such as a starter mode that limits the top speed to six miles per hour or an "eco" mode that dynamically adjusts power output to maximize range.

Additionally, the app provides a number of convenience features. An antitheft mode prevents the board from being used when locked with the app, and a map will show riders exactly how far they can go before the Marbel's battery dies.




Interestingly, Marbel appears to have chosen to build a Wi-Fi hotspot into the board, rather than connect via Bluetooth. That decision could prove problematic for riders who like to stream music or other media over a mobile data connection while riding.

At press time, the Marbel team had raised just over $314,000 of its $90,000 goal from 476 backers with 31 hours remaining as of Wednesday afternoon.

post #2 of 17
Oh great... that's just what we need. It's bad enough that pedestrians have to worry about distracted car drivers looking/texting on their cellphones. Now, we have to worry about getting hit by skateboarders doing the exact same thing.

Honestly, some ideas really need to get the rubber-stamp "R E J E C T E D".
post #3 of 17

take the fun out of skateboarding while your at it….Fidgeting with controls, all while trying not to die….cool sign me up. /S

One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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post #4 of 17

If they can drive (control speed) with the app, they're going to have issues getting in into the App Store on any phone for that matter. Both Apple and Google and Microsoft's (and probably everybody else's) license agreements specifically prohibit use of the software where failure can lead to a hazardous situation, injury and death. You can imagine the phone freezing up the moment you're about to skate out of the way of a oncoming truck.

 

A lot of these Kickstarter ideas involve half-baked ideas coupled with unbridled enthusiasm.

post #5 of 17

Just wait until that battery is damaged and blows up. Would make an exploding phone look like blowing bubbles.

 

Also, do skateboard companies have to hold an extraordinary amount of product liability coverage?

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #6 of 17

It has a hand remote controller.  The iOS app is to customize the acceleration and regenerative braking, see distance/range and to use in the off-chance the hand remote's battery died.  It also locks and un-locks the board's circuitry. 

 

-RJ

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by konqerror View Post
 

If they can drive (control speed) with the app, they're going to have issues getting in into the App Store on any phone for that matter. Both Apple and Google and Microsoft's (and probably everybody else's) license agreements specifically prohibit use of the software where failure can lead to a hazardous situation, injury and death. You can imagine the phone freezing up the moment you're about to skate out of the way of a oncoming truck.

 

I think they would get into the app store OK personally. 

post #8 of 17

If I didn't live in the UK (a shithole of a country which makes anything fun illegal) I would buy one.

post #9 of 17

Half of the fun in skateboarding is doing jumps and grinds. What's next, electric surfboards? Gnarly dude, no more paddling!

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by konqerror View Post
 

If they can drive (control speed) with the app, they're going to have issues getting in into the App Store on any phone for that matter. Both Apple and Google and Microsoft's (and probably everybody else's) license agreements specifically prohibit use of the software where failure can lead to a hazardous situation, injury and death. You can imagine the phone freezing up the moment you're about to skate out of the way of a oncoming truck.

 

A lot of these Kickstarter ideas involve half-baked ideas coupled with unbridled enthusiasm.

 

If the device has its own wifi hotspot, it would be trivial to build a web app that was served directly to the connected smartphone to provide the controls rather than having to put an app into various app stores. This would completely bypass any app store restrictions.

post #11 of 17
It might be a neat idea. But all it takes is one skateboarder to get in (or just cause) a terrible wreck and say that the controls didn't work (when all he did was get flustered), and the lawyers will have a feast.
post #12 of 17
So basically it's a remote controlled skateboard?
post #13 of 17

This looks pretty rad, I need to try it. 

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iMac 2007, Macbook pro 2008, Mac Mini 2011
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post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

It might be a neat idea. But all it takes is one skateboarder to get in (or just cause) a terrible wreck and say that the controls didn't work (when all he did was get flustered), and the lawyers will have a feast.

 

Don't worry.  The user would need to sign the liability waver when activating the skateboard every time.  The lawyers would have nothing.

post #15 of 17

That would scare me to death having to rely on a remote for steering and stopping. I would think something like this with the same electric battery would not only be safer but would sell far more. No remote just steer, brake, and accelerate from handlebars. 

 

Edit: I understand why they don't. There is already a very large electric scooter market that is saturated. I used to have one many years ago myself and got a bit nostalgic. I might buy a new one just for fun. They seem every economical for under $250 with a 10 mile range. 

 


Edited by gwmac - 6/19/14 at 7:27am
post #16 of 17

Powered skateboards are here already today.  This design has a hand controller for acceleration and breaking bits but steering is the driver's leaning just as any other skateboard would be.  Having a light and normal-looking skateboard is both advantageous but also small enough to carry.  Bikes and other larger transportation equipment needs to be locked up outside. 

 

Think of the 1-3 mile problems we drive autos or use public transportation today.  This can solve these types of transportation with ease.  Less than 1 mile, walk it.  More than 3 miles, use something else, IMHO.

 

-RJ

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtonrj View Post
 

Powered skateboards are here already today.  This design has a hand controller for acceleration and breaking bits but steering is the driver's leaning just as any other skateboard would be.  Having a light and normal-looking skateboard is both advantageous but also small enough to carry.  Bikes and other larger transportation equipment needs to be locked up outside. 

 

Think of the 1-3 mile problems we drive autos or use public transportation today.  This can solve these types of transportation with ease.  Less than 1 mile, walk it.  More than 3 miles, use something else, IMHO.

 

-RJ

Very true about the ability to carry it inside. But personally I would go with a gas scooter or an electric scooter if I was looking for a bicycle alternative. You can get a 49cc for around $300 that will give you about 20 miles or more on one tank. But like you pointed out you would need a safe place to secure it while you are inside work or shopping. But it is great to have so many cool options now for any taste or budget. 

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