Up Close: Solowheel, the 'E-Unicycle?' the 'Pocket Segway?' [video]

Transportation is not something we generally cover here on BetaNews, but sometimes a product will slip through our defenses and end up on the front page because it is interesting, novel, broadly applicable, or simply charming.

Now, Inventec deals in some hokey re-inventions of user-propelled transportation devices: scooters, skates, hydrofoils, and such. Solowheel is a re-invention of the Segway, which is itself a very hokey vehicle, but built on compelling gyroscopic balancing technology and eco-friendly energy consumption.

It shrinks the Segway concept down to a smaller and more affordable profile. Its single wheel is small enough to fit in an airport locker, and costs a little less than half of the retail price of a new Segway. A single charge lets the rider travel 15 to 20 miles at 10 miles per hour, and the Lithium-Ion battery can be fully recharged in 2 hours using standard AC current.

That's not bad when considering a Segway can travel about 24 miles at 12.5 mph, and a full recharge takes 8 to 10 hours.

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