Jim Rides the Wave of the Future.

Posted on Jul 18, 2003

(ed. note: this post refers to the original Segway)

It turns out this machine is pretty neat. It takes you about twenty seconds to get used to standing on it, and getting a feel for the body positions that generate the motions involved. It also makes you realize that what you consider to be standing straight up might not be exactly accurate, center of gravity wise.

So anyway, I avoided disaster. I spun the thing around pretty well, for how much room the lady was giving me. You turn it with a little control near your left hand, you lean forward and back to accelerate in that direction. It can go decently fast, the pace of a brisk jog. It can go 10-12 miles on a battery charge, and the tires are supposed to last several thousand miles.

The bad part, as I see it, is where the hell are you supposed to use this thing? If you’re a college student, I could see it. But for that money? If you’re in an urban environment, you could use it to get to work. But only if you lived on the ground floor, and it wouldn’t get stolen at your place of work.

I just don’t feel the early adopter spirit on this one. Even if I could afford it, I don’t think I’d be getting one.

Now, those mail carriers out in Southwest Houston? That’d be a different story. I’d be all over that like white on rice.