Segway CTO departs for leadership role on Apple's design team

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Doug Field, the chief technology officer who's led Segway's engineering team since day one, is leaving his post at the electric vehicle maker to become a vice president of product design at Apple.



"Doug has been the driving force in making the Segway what it is today and will be sorely missed at the company," reads an official post made to the SegwayChat forums on Friday.



Field's has made a long career of managing and developing new products and manufacturing processes for the automotive and medical industries.



Before joining Segway, he worked for several years beginning in the late 90's at DEKA Research & Development, leading the prototype design and overall technical leadership for the INDEPENDENCE IBOT Mobility System.



Prior to that, he was the Manager of Process Development for Johnson & Johnson Medical, Inc. where he led the introduction of advanced manufacturing processes for high-volume medical device production.



Earlier in his career, Field assumed the role of vehicle development engineer and team leader at Ford Motor Company, focusing on the development of ride, handling, and noise and vibration characteristics on several car platforms.



The motives behind Apple's move to acquire Field are unclear and somewhat interesting given the reaction by chief executive Steve Jobs to the industrial design of the original Segway in 2003.



"I think it sucks," he said. "Its shape is not innovative, it's not elegant and it doesn't feel anthropomorphic."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    I've seen a (I think) older model Segway and if I remember correctly, it had an interesting ignition/control/lock module piece that fit into the center console between the handle bars. It was about the size of an old tamagotchi unit and I think it held the ignition switch and the idea was that you could disengage it and take it with you when you parked the Segway.



    As a modular, mechanic to electronic bridge, it could be that this guy is working on some of those Apple patents AI showed us about a removable and multi-purpose multi-touch/LCD unit that swaps between devices... just a thought.
  • Reply 2 of 43
    VP of product design? One word. Scary.



  • Reply 3 of 43
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Doug Field, the chief technology officer who's led Segway's engineering team since day one, is leaving his post at the electric vehicle maker to become a vice president of product design at Apple.



    ...



    The motives behind Apple's move to acquire Field are unclear and somewhat interesting given the reaction by chief executive Steve Jobs to the industrial design of the original Segway in 2003.



    "I think it sucks," he said. "Its shape is not innovative, it's not elegant and it doesn't feel anthropomorphic."



    How is it "interesting"? Your own article says the guy ran the engineering team, not the design team. There is design in engineering, but it means something different. They are different disciplines. Don't insinuate blame on him for something that probably wasn't his responsibility.
  • Reply 4 of 43
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I have to say, the newer Segways are a lot of fun. The originals would use leaning for forward/back, and a handlebar knob for steering. Now it's ALL leaning--you lean left and right to steer (the whole handlebar column tilts sideways from the bottom). I don't need one, but it was fun to try!
  • Reply 5 of 43
    What's the difference between Product Design and Industrial Design?? I assume Field will be reporting to Mr. Ive!
  • Reply 6 of 43
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gilles_deleuze View Post


    VP of product design? One word. Scary.







    It doesn't seem the Segway was as life altering as its inventor had hoped, so it had to be sold to somebody...



    Although that does look like a scene right out of a Hollywood movie... you know the ones that have mass murders, glorified explosions and destruction to beat the band, car chases and wrecks, etc. and then some of the people who star in them have the nerve to promulgate 'peace', 'no hate', 'no violence' and 'no war'!



    Case in point, Angelina Jolie in "Wanted"! That's the UN Embassador of Goodwill I want!
  • Reply 7 of 43
    hankx32hankx32 Posts: 121member
    i think this is the beginning of iCar...
  • Reply 8 of 43
    Perhaps he will help Apple rethink personal transportation, and come up with something compelling: a clean, green, anti-addiction machine.
  • Reply 9 of 43
    ivan_13ivan_13 Posts: 1member
    A Segway uses some of the most advanced gyroscope technology. The iPhone teem probably would appreciate the experience in the field that he will bring.
  • Reply 10 of 43
    jimzipjimzip Posts: 444member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    How is it "interesting"? Your own article says the guy ran the engineering team, not the design team. There is design in engineering, but it means something different. They are different disciplines. Don't insinuate blame on him for something that probably wasn't his responsibility.



    Cool it Jeff - it's too early in the morning for grumpiness.. The article is both interesting and wholly justified. It's clearly stated that 'the guy' ran the engineering team, but is being hired as the VP of design... To me this is big news, it's not every day that Apple hires a new designer at this level, now Jonathan Ive has someone to play with...



    Plus it's an article that isn't about the iPhone, which on its own would is enough to pique my interest. Few and far between these days...



    Jimzip
  • Reply 11 of 43
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jimzip View Post


    Cool it Jeff - it's too early in the morning for grumpiness.. The article is both interesting and wholly justified. It's clearly stated that 'the guy' ran the engineering team, but is being hired as the VP of design... To me this is big news, it's not every day that Apple hires a new designer at this level, now Steve Ives has someone to play with...



    I didn't say the article wasn't interesting. I was focusing on something the article said was interesting, but the last two paragraphs had an undercurrent that didn't seem justified.



    I don't think your interpretation explains the inclusion of the Jobs quote at the end, including that quote implies something else.
  • Reply 12 of 43
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Maybe this guy can bring some sanity back to Apple's hardware designs so you don't need to use suction cups and putty knives to open an iMac or Mac Mini. Or totally disassemble a laptop just to replace basic components.
  • Reply 13 of 43
    fuyutsukifuyutsuki Posts: 293member
    Woz will be delighted.
  • Reply 14 of 43
    probablyprobably Posts: 139member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    Maybe this guy can bring some sanity back to Apple's hardware designs so you don't need to use suction cups and putty knives to open an iMac or Mac Mini. Or totally disassemble a laptop just to replace basic components.



    That's not a priority or care really. As long as a certified technician can do the same task consistently without breaking pieces, it's fine.



    It's always been that way and proves to be no bane for the company.



    (The original Macintosh required, what, foot-long Torx screws? And Jobs STILL forced his electrical team to reprint the circuitry to look more pleasing.)
  • Reply 15 of 43
    ivladivlad Posts: 739member
    Let the beginning of iHouse products begin.

    Can't wait!
  • Reply 16 of 43
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    If you have not read the link supplied for Mr. Jobs and the Seqway, I recommend it. It gives some good insight into how he thinks.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan_13 View Post


    A Segway uses some of the most advanced gyroscope technology. The iPhone teem probably would appreciate the experience in the field that he will bring.



    That is the true brilliance of the Segway. For decades we've seen Sony and others struggle to make a bipedal android that could actually walk on various surfaces.



    Dean Kamen's new water distiller is interesting. I knew he was working with Sterling engine patents but I figures it was for a form of transportation. His new device distills water from any source without chemicals, and while it uses power to operate, a byproduct of the sterling engine is that it generates power, too. So a solared powered device cold generate clean water all day and then have power backed up to batteries for use at night.
  • Reply 17 of 43
    brlawyerbrlawyer Posts: 828member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fuyutsuki View Post


    Woz will be delighted.



    Does this mean that Woz will dictate SegWays to every Apple employee, take over Jobs's position as CEO and play Take 2 as a Sculley clone? I hope not...
  • Reply 18 of 43
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,524member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gilles_deleuze View Post


    VP of product design? One word. Scary.







    iPhone hackers, we're coming for you!
  • Reply 19 of 43
    bigmikebigmike Posts: 250member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iVlad View Post


    Let the beginning of iHouse products begin.

    Can't wait!



    I agree. But I hope they drop the "i" thing. It's getting old.
  • Reply 20 of 43
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,141member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hankx32 View Post


    i think this is the beginning of iCar...



    ROFL .... too funny
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