A Camas, Wash. company has built a personal 'people mover' that might actually catch on.
The Solowheel is a small, electric unicycle, without a seat, that can move its rider up to 10 mph across varied terrain and uphill. It's light enough (24 pounds) to pick up and carry onto a bus.
Andrew Ross, marketing director for Inventist, tells KIRO Radio's Jason Rantz Show his Solowheel is all about getting people out of their cars by making it easier to travel short distances quickly. The battery life lasts about 10 miles.
"It will change the way people move themselves around much in the way that they wanted to with the Segway. I think we can accomplish more with this," says Ross.
So why is it better than the Segway?
"This is actually safer. If you fall off of a Segway, it's going to keep going...and drag you along with it," says Ross, referring to some unfortunate videos on YouTube.
He says you're only inches from the ground if you need to jump off.
There's also nowhere to stow away a Segway, but the Solowheel is about the size of a briefcase.
Unlike the Segway, Ross says he's confident people will adopt the Solowheel as soon as they see it in action and get a chance to take it for a spin. He says the learning period is very short and it's quite simple to balance on.
"If you lean forward, you go forward. If you lean back, you slow down," he says.
The Solowheel will cost you $1,995, which Ross says is considerably cheaper than the Segway. There are already two dealerships in the greater Seattle area.