First look: Acton Blink S, a lightweight iPhone-connected electric skateboard

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2017
Landing on the more portable and affordable side of iPhone-connected electric skateboards is Acton's new Blink S, an 11-pound ride that lets you adjust settings and track stats through a Bluetooth-connected iPhone app.




The Acton Blink S normally costs $699, but it is currently on sale for $499 from Amazon. That makes it considerably more affordable than the popular second-generation Boosted Board, which starts at $1,299.

To achieve that low price, the Blink S cuts a few corners, most notably with a single hub motor embedded in one of the rear wheels. Acton's entry-level model offers up to 7 miles of ride on a single charge, and is advertised to reach speeds of up to 15 miles per hour.




The quiet motor also features regenerative braking, providing juice back into the battery attached to the bottom of the deck when a user slows down or stops.

The Bluetooth-connected Acton app allows users to check the current battery level of their board, and to see the current running time and trip distance. It also allows users to enable or disable the front lights for nighttime riding, and to switch between speed modes of beginner, normal, and pro.




The iPhone app also includes a social element, letting users compete in challenges to ride a certain distance over a set number of days, or compare themselves to friends and strangers on distance leaderboards.

Acton has more robust offerings on the way -- the $999 Blink S 2 with more powerful dual-hub motors is shipping in limited quantities, and a superpowered "Qu4tro" board is forthcoming with a hefty $1,699 price tag.




At its current $499 price, the Acton Blink S is among the most affordable iPhone-connected electric skateboards. AppleInsider previously looked at the Inboard M1, priced at $1,399, which connects to the Inboard Vision app to check stats, upgrade firmware, and even control the board itself.

Acton's app does not currently offer a way to control the board, which is something of a disappointment, considering the remote control relies on two AAA batteries. The battery is also not swappable, unlike the Inboard and some other options on the market.




But other, pricier options with bigger decks and larger batteries also come in considerably heavier forms. With a relatively short 28-inch deck combined with huge 83-millimeter wheels, the Acton Blink S offers a nice balance between portability and price, with the bonus of iPhone connectivity.

AppleInsider will have much more on the Acton Blink S in our full review.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 587member
    Interesting. The 11km range is too short for me personally but some might find it useful. 

    How about AI do a review of the Evolve electric skateboard and their accompanying iOS app?
    I have one and love it so would be interested to see the AI perspective on it. 
  • Reply 2 of 4
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,085member
    I dont see the lack of app controls as a problem. Since you cannot feel buttons on your iPhone, the last thing you want to be doing is looking at your phone while trying to ride. A physical remote that operates by physical controls alone and absolutely no sight required is the correct design decision. But it should charge via Lightning cable.
    edited August 2017 razorpit
  • Reply 3 of 4
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 750editor
    lostkiwi said:
    Interesting. The 11km range is too short for me personally but some might find it useful. 

    How about AI do a review of the Evolve electric skateboard and their accompanying iOS app?
    I have one and love it so would be interested to see the AI perspective on it. 
    I'd love to check out the Evolve. Didn't even realize they had an app until I read your comment. App Store reviews seem poor, however.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 750editor

    I dont see the lack of app controls as a problem. Since you cannot feel buttons on your iPhone, the last thing you want to be doing is looking at your phone while trying to ride. A physical remote that operates by physical controls alone and absolutely no sight required is the correct design decision. But it should charge via Lightning cable.
    I agree. I reviewed the Yuneec E-Go a few years ago, and it offered throttle controls via an iOS app. While it worked, the lack of tactile feedback (plus the danger of shattering your phone) made it nothing more than a novelty. However, for this product, considering the remote runs on AAA batteries, and the app doesn't tell me how much juice is left in the remote, having controls as a backup in case your remote dies would be a nice feature. Hopefully they add it.
    edited August 2017 razorpit
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