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Not A Hoverboard, but Close (Video) 66

Posted by Roblimo
from the if-one-wheel-is-$1500,-does-the-two-wheeled-version-cost-$3000? dept.
It's a one-wheeled, self-balancing electric skateboard called (appropriately) the Onewheel. You can't buy one right now. They've already shipped all of their first production runs and still have Kickstarter backers' orders to fulfill. After that, though, they might make one for you -- if you come up with a deposit of $500 against a total price of $1499. Plus shipping. This may seem like a lot of money to some people, but enough folks have found it reasonable that Onewheel has sold out not just its first production run but also the second one. Their Kickstarter success was nothing short of amazing, with $630,862 raised although their goal was only $100,000. Inventor Kyle Doerksen is the man behind Onewheel, but he's also one of the people behind Faraday Bicycles, whose flagship model costs $3500 -- and whose initial production run is also sold out -- which means there are people around who are willing to pay $3500 for an electric bicycle instead of putting a motor kit on a used Schwinn for a total cost of less than $500 (with a little careful shopping). Alternate video link.

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Not A Hoverboard, but Close (Video)

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Woot! I have been waiting to upgrade my Segway to something else.

    BTW- link is slashdotted.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Flash is required to see this content."
    My apologies, but what is Flash???

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one that hates sideways going things (skateboards, surfboards, this, etc) in favor of front-to-back things (rollerblades, skiis, bikes, etc)?

    It looks cool, but then it's that whole weird sideways shit.

    • by Drethon (1445051)
      Seems like something with rolling motion would be a pain to ride front to back, without handlebars (segway) anyway...
      • by Disperz (818430)
        Not too bad if it's self-balancing, like this unicycle. [youtube.com]
      • I've tried both this and the actual device that's called The One Wheel (law suit pending I'm sure) which has pegs on the side instead. That is MUCH easier to balance. I have exceptional balance but I strongly preferred this one. [urbangliders.com] Oh and it's half the price and uses the same battery and charging system. That one had quicker acceleration too because you didn't risk scraping any structure on the back.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      dunno, put a chair on it.

      anyhow, you Could stand on it with the feet facing same direction one after one I suppose(if it was not for that one switch anyways). but it wouldn't be so good position to ride.

      anyways, it looks like a fun toy. don't know many so hipster friendly cities where you could substitute a bike with it(pedalled or motored). I mean, you could probably commute with it if your office was at the gate of your so called gated community but going over walkways or going among bikes with it?

    • Like a crab, except on wheels!
    • Yea, I think I would prefer a Solowheel [inventist.com].

    • by razorh (853659)
      I feel the exact opposite. Snowboards, skateboards, wakeboards = yay... ski's etc. = nay.
  • by drainbramage (588291) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @04:19PM (#47122911)

    The one wheel powering the website seems to be stuck.

    • But they aren't now.

      I left them, and went to justhost. Which isn't good now either.

      Now I'm using nosupportlinuxhosting, which leaves many things to be desired. It's not just no support, it's no support for anything not supported by mainline cpanel. That's kind of annoying. But it's cheap as shit. That makes it more palatable. Nobody would eat at taco bell if you couldn't spange for it.

  • by phorm (591458) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @04:32PM (#47123005) Journal

    Not A Hoverboard, but Close

    This is no closer to a hoverboard than a skateboard is. Seriously, a hoverboard is a futuristic technology which through some form of anti-gravity field or whatever FLOATS IN THE FRICKING AIR. This is essentially a cross between a skateboard and a segway. Cool, but still attached to the ground.

    • by infogulch (1838658) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @04:39PM (#47123087)

      The benefits of a hoverboard over a skateboard include being a smoother ride, being able to navigate over rougher terrain, requiring less manual pushing, and, well, just straight up flying.

      While Onewheel doesn't exactly fly, it does cover the other three benefits (and on manual pushing, it's even better than Marty's), so I think it's fair to call it the closest thing to hoverboards yet.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Call me when it rides over water.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The benefits of a hoverboard over a skateboard include being a smoother ride, being able to navigate over rougher terrain, requiring less manual pushing, and, well, just straight up flying.

        While Onewheel doesn't exactly fly, it does cover the other three benefits (and on manual pushing, it's even better than Marty's), so I think it's fair to call it the closest thing to hoverboards yet.

        The difference between a wheeled vehicle and an airplane is the airfoil, not the number of wheels or a list of "benefits" you just made up right now. A motorcycle is not anywhere closer to an airplane than a car.

        The closest thing to a "true" hovercraft is an air-cushion craft. When people say "hovercraft" we mean a fucking anti-gravity type device which doesn't need to use a wheel, a wing, a rotor, propeller, rocket, or any other traditional thrust mechanism to stay off the ground. Magnetics are acceptable

    • by mythosaz (572040) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @04:42PM (#47123113)

      This is no closer to a hoverboard than a skateboard is.

      It's three wheels closer.

      Just one to go.

      75% of the way, by any logical measure.

      • This is no closer to a hoverboard than a skateboard is.

        It's three wheels closer.

        Just one to go.

        75% of the way, by any logical measure.

        Um... No... Not even 1% closer.... You do realize that hovering in mid-air is completely different than any wheeled application and requires new technology.

        Reducing the wheels from 4 small wheels to 1 big wheel gets you no closer to a hover board than going from a rotary dialed wired phone to a touch tone wired phone got us to a cell phone. The cell phone required a completely different technology than a wired phone, no matter how fancy.

        If this had been an article about a skate board that floated over a

      • 75% of the way, by any logical measure.

        You are mistaken, in the hoverboard formula the variable representing the number of wheels is in the denominator. The work required to reduce it from 1 to 0 is infinitely more than the work required to reduce it from 4 to 1, and the closer you get the greater the possibility that your body mass will be instantly converted to dark matter and equally distributed across the universe.

    • I happen to know this one supports approx a 350 lb person though and technically you're riding on air (inside a tire, lol).
  • The difference between one point of contact with the ground and no points of contact is similar to the difference between one government ruling a continent and no governments ruling a continent. It is not similar to the difference between 1 penny and no pennies.
    • by iggymanz (596061)

      oh come now, a person with one cent to their name is infinitely more rich than a person with zero cents to their name

      • oh come now, a person with one cent to their name is infinitely more rich than a person with zero cents to their name

        Only in the world of mathematicians and statisticians.

        In the real world, both would starve to death in the same amount of time (excluding the possibility that the cent is composed of either a precious metal or is a collector's item that would net the owner a sum larger than 1 cent).

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          How about having one trillon dollar coin, and no trillion dollar coins? Is it the same then? Oooh, can I call it the Obama Penny?
      • Until the IRS realizes the irich guy never paid the income tax on that penny.
  • Doesn't Segway have a patent on this already?

  • nowhere close (Score:2, Insightful)

    by akirapill (1137883)
    This is not anything even remotely close to a hoverboard. Even more shameless than those cars with fold-out wings that people try to pass off as 'flying cars'.
  • Looks like they also sell web hosting!
  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @05:24PM (#47123601)
    My friend actually is importing from the same supplier as The One Wheel so it's literally the same device. Since he's just one ex computer technician in one location, he's selling em for like $750 or something. I tried it and it kicks ass. It's not hard to balance but then again I'm really good at kickboxing and dance dance revolution lol. Check his out at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    and
    http://urbangliders.com/ [urbangliders.com]
    • I just realized that the video features the revised edition of The One Wheel and their website is down but take my work for it, their original prototype (which btw is bullshit, a Chinese company invented it) is actually the same body and engine and charger as the Urban Glider.
    • Sorry but that looks way less practical and usable than the One Wheel skateboard-esque design, even if it uses some of the same parts. Watch the One Wheel [youtube.com] Kickstarter video to compare.

      In your video you can see the woman just barely maintaining balance... and the people riding it have to stand stock still apparently or all is lost.

      • After like a day you get 100% used to it and at that point, the control and safety is superior to other models I tested. This and the One Wheel are both hard to crash but once you get enough skill to never crash, the urban glider has better precision control. I have a feeling that the One Wheel simply couldn't get their gyroscope working.
  • by maliqua (1316471) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @05:48PM (#47123839)

    Ok if you want to build up to something and guarantee it's a disappointment you found the perfect marketing strategy.

    • ...and then crash your website by going over its bandwidth limit :P
  • Ok, I'm going to ignore the fact that this has absolutely nothing to do with a hoverboard...

    But doesn't this entire premise seem sketchy to anyone else?
    Look at the build quality.
    To me, that looks like 2 pieces of angle iron, attached by 2 pieces of plywood (where your feet go) with a go cart wheel in the center
    Looking at google images of it, that looks to me to be exactly what it is, but the angle iron might be aluminum instead
    I'm not sure if the motor really is in the hub, or it's that little black box att

    • This is a modified product and the original is actually called The One Wheel (or Urban Glider or one of 6 other names since it's a Chinese import). This is a double the price rip off of it. It has a balancing gyroscope that makes it not torque you off backwards or torque steer into a tree. It also has an engine-braking limiter for downhill. Like 35 degrees though and you'd still die before the bottom, lol. It's virtually impossible to crash this thing. I tried. I couldn't crash it. I was riding the
  • If you are going to blow a lot of money on a skateboard, check out [boostedboards.com] one of these. [silverfish...arding.com]
  • http://www.instructables.com/i... [instructables.com]

    I think that is the one I read about before.

  • There are lots of gizmos and gadgets dumped on the market in China. I've seen several instances where US/other companies take given gadgets, rename, and slang 'em on the local market at well jacked up prices with the addition of going through regulatory/inspection procedures as required. There are tons of little single wheel with pegs devices I see people zipping around on, I just google'd for image and this came up: http://www.airebike.com/airwhe... [airebike.com] It's equally hoverboard-like. By which I mean absolute

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