What It Looks Like When Segway Designs A Hoverboard
Ninebot by Minipro is heralded as "the most stable, hands-free ride imaginable"
Ah, the hoverboard, 2015’s hottest holiday gift fad. And by hot, we mean “most likely to spontaneously combust.” Not only that, but the hoverboard gave the world hundreds of viral videos of people falling headlong, not to mention countless injuries. So don’t call the Ninebot by Segway Minipro a hoverboard. It’s a “smart self-balancing personal transporter,” thank you very much.
To be fair, the Segway Minipro only resembles a hoverboard in the most superficial ways: it has two wheels, and the rider stands on it. There, the similarities end. Instead of a flat platform for the feet, the Minipro’s two footpads are separated by a short, padded stalk in the center, like an abbreviated version of the full-size Segway. The proprietary Segway algorithms help the scooter learn the user’s riding habits. “The Minipro glides automatically, based on the rider’s movements, providing the most stable, hands-free ride imaginable,” said Segway’s Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Brian Buccella.
All these improvements, and the Segway name, don’t come cheap. The device has a retail price of $1,299; order it on Amazon Prime and you can get it for a cool $798. But Brian Bucella points out that you get what you pay for. In an interview with TechCrunch, he said, “We actually do not consider the miniPRO to be a hoverboard—it’s an entirely different class of product.”