It’s hard to look at Segway and not be amazed.The tech wonder when it was unveiled in 2001, has quickly gained popularity around the globe.
Recently, there was a news of Xiaomi releasing a segway like vehicle at one twentieth the cost. This comes almost a year after its announcement of acquiring Segway. Let’s have a look at this affordable segway alternative.
- A two wheeled, self-balancing, battery-powered electric vehicle invented by American entrepreneur Dean Kamen. It uses gyroscope sensors (kind of what you have in your iPhone for playing games) and accelerometer-based leveling sensors to detect the resulting changes in its pitch angle and, to maintain balance.Oh yes, a Segway PT cost upwards of $6000, so that’s been hindering it’s large adoption.
- That might just change soon with Xiaomi’s Portfolio company Ninebot acquiring Segway Inc. which also specializes in self-balancing human transporters.
Ironically, Segway actually accused its then competitor of IP infringement just a little over six months before accusation and Ninebot, flush with cash went ahead and purchased it. That’s how they roll.
- Ninebot Mini is the first product to have come out after this acquisition and looks a lot like original except for the fact that it’s prized peanut in comparison to original Segway!
Ninebot Mini would cost $315 in China which is where it’d start retailing as of now.
- Performance isn’t what compromised though. The new Ninebot Mini can move at up to 16km/h (10 mph), tackle 15 degree hills and run up to 22 km on a single charge. Weighs at 12.8 kilograms (28 pounds)Xiaomi says it’ll easily “fits easily in the trunk of your car”. Thanks but we’d rather like to carry around showing off 😀
- This should also couple up well with your phone and let you lock, park remotely and also will warn you if your vehicle is running in locked mode. +1 China!
- Hold your horses though, there’s no word on worldwide release. It’s going to debut in China this year but availability in US, Europe and Indian markets is unknown.Segway and India
While whole world get’s excited with Segway, India is another story. Thanks to our infrastructure and duties, a Segway cost somewhere around $8000 in price sensitive market of India.
The Indian operations had been started in 2010 and distributor issued a statement that they have sold around 250 segway in India. They broke even in 2011 but refused to divulge any more details.
For now, they are primarily used in Golf courses, Delhi IGI Airport and couple of Tourist spots.Segway is hoping the new government can give some tax rebate on account of green nature of these vehicle that might just increase adoption. As of now, we just have to wait and watch.
P.S- Delhiites, head over to Ambience mall for a quick ride of Segway if interested.