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Toys

Buy a Segway... Please 836

Posted by michael
from the it-will-change-the-world-ha-ha dept.
aedunn writes "Wired has an article about everyone's favorite Human Transporter - Segway. Seems as though the company is looking at some hard times. Among other things, the article cites Segway's price, low speed and tightened spending in the corporate world as reasons for Segway's slow sales."
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Buy a Segway... Please

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  • by trb (8509) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:06AM (#5334744)
    A company with an overpriced useless product and no business plan is having trouble surviving. Film at 11.
  • Perhaps (Score:4, Funny)

    by Duds (100634) <dudley@NoSPaM.enterspace.org> on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:07AM (#5334754) Homepage Journal
    People don't like wobbling down the sidewalk looking bloody stupid after all.

    They might as well give away a big red hat that says "Tool"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:08AM (#5334764)
    Hi, I'm Steve Jobs. Apple bought me a nice plane, and I return the favor by renting it back to them! I hope they buy me a Segway, so I can rent that back to them too! I was hoping those cheapskates would give me one after I said something nice about them, but no dice. Those things look really useful for crowded sidewalks - why, I could take up the room of 3-4 people and be going just as slow!

    Hey, I only make $1/year! Gimmie some toys!
  • by swordboy (472941) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:09AM (#5334767) Journal
    I almost bought one and then I realized that I could get a bicycle for a fraction of the cost.

    And it is more fun to recharge the power source for the bicycle.

    Seriously... How lazy can people be? They should give these things away to people that buy Hummer H2s (read:idiots).
  • Uh.. (Score:0, Funny)

    by Rob-sif (193902) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:10AM (#5334777) Homepage
    "Segway's price, low speed and tightened spending"

    Low speed?!?! AFAIAC, doing more than 10mph on one of those things would mean a large number of underpants changes along the way.
  • by Neon Spiral Injector (21234) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:15AM (#5334825)
    Yeah, what do they think this is, the '90s?
  • by Dragon213 (604374) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:16AM (#5334838)
    Put a rocket motor on it, change the name to something military-sounding (like Vehicle, Personal, All-terrain, Rocket-assisted) and sell it to Sadam Hussien! Take care of two birds with one stone :p
  • by worst_name_ever (633374) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:16AM (#5334842)
    If they just stuck a seat on it everything would be different.

    And pedals, for when the battery runs down. Hey wait...

  • by Toasty16 (586358) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:19AM (#5334872) Homepage
    Dean Kamen is a genius! I mean, a motorized scooter? It's brilliant! Society will be revolutionized!

    Think of the benefits: Less people driving cars! Unless more than one person wants to travel, and unless they want to carry luggage or groceries or anything else for that matter, or if they want to listen to the radio while they travel, or if they want to go more than a dozen or so miles...hmm, lets try this again.

    Think of the benefits: Easier personal transport! Unless you run into a flight of stairs, or uneven or wet ground, or want to travel for longer than 45 minutes after which you'll have to lug it around with you like so much dead weight...hmmm, this isn't working either.

    How about this: The Segway is amazing! For only $5000 you can get a motorized scooter that allows you to roll where you once walked! That is truly revolutionary, unless you count the bicycle, rollerskates, rollerblades, skateboards, wheelchairs, non-motorized scooters...Aww forget it, I give up!

  • by garcia (6573) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:23AM (#5334913)
    and of course it wasn't the plain fact that his invention sucked ass. He's going to blame the poor economy as the reason it failed...

    I have absolutely no desire to ride around on this thing. The videos I watched were a) scary, made me feel like I was watching a bunch of motorized lemmings, b) stupid as hell, everyone looked like a fucking dork riding on them.

    Let's appeal to human laziness! Yah, that doesn't work all the time.
  • by hoggoth (414195) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:26AM (#5334949) Journal
    1) Build very expensive motor-scooter with auto-balance
    2) Redesign all cities around it
    3) Profit!

  • by StressedEd (308123) <ej.grace@imper i a l . a c.uk> on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:28AM (#5334963) Homepage
    South park. Episode 511 "The Entity" [southparkstudios.com]. Nuff said.

    I saw it yesterday and nearly choked I was laughing so hard! Look here [southparkstudios.com] for a still from the episode.

    Summed up popular opinion at the time quite well...

  • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:31AM (#5334990)
    If they just stuck a seat on it everything would be different.

    And then a roof for when it rains. Oh, and side windows. Maybe a windshield.
    Damn....now we have to put in some ventilation. Maybe A/C. How bout some heat for the winter?
    A stereo.
    Damn...now we need a bigger motor to pull all this crap. And the gyros can't handle all this extra weight. Better put on two more wheels for stability.
    Crap...it's raining. Need windshield wipers. And a defroster. More batteries to drive all this stuff.

    Gotta beef up the frame to handle those extra batteries. And again, more motor to drive it.

    Well...this is now too big and heavy to actually carry anywhere. Need a parking space for it. Might as well use the garage.
    Oh, and it now costs $8500 instead of $4950. Makes that new Kia look more and more inviting.
  • by apg (66778) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:32AM (#5335001) Homepage

    Basically, imagine the limited marketshare that scooters/rollerblades/skateboards occupy (as transportation, not as stunt vehicles)

    Aw, come on. You know ESPN2 is already planning "Extreme Segway" complete with half pipe and Segway street freestyling.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:40AM (#5335058)
    From a bumper sticker seen in the Edmonton area years ago:
    "Jesus saves. Gretzky gets the rebound. He shoots. He scores!"
  • by Steve B (42864) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:43AM (#5335083)
    Kamen declares himself "somewhat pleased and surprised" that so many state legislators agreed to change their laws to accommodate his scooter

    It's hardly surpising that the laws are for sale. Now that the money machine has sputtered and died, they'll change back quickly enough as soon as the first pedestrian with any pull gets clobbered (they don't all have indoor parking).

  • by will_die (586523) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:47AM (#5335116) Homepage
    Like Steve Jobs said in the future cities will be designed around these. Already happening, San Francisco is redesigning thier city by putting up theses 'No Segways allowed.' signs.
  • by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:50AM (#5335146)
    Tis a shame that the economy has hit a downturn

    No, don't blame the economy. It's much trendier to blame "global geopolitical conditions" for poor product performance.

    (BTW, the economy's growing healthily; better to blame the stock market.)
  • by cruff (171569) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:57AM (#5335192) Homepage
    No, you've got it somewhat wrong! Put a rocket motor on it, then I'll finally be able to catch that pesky Roadrunner! Oops, who put that cliff there...
    SPLAT! - Wiley E.
  • by hawkfish (8978) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @11:01AM (#5335225) Homepage
    You mean someone came up with a way for the American population to get even fatter and it isn't selling?
  • Dork Factor (Score:3, Funny)

    by simetra (155655) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @11:05AM (#5335261) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps they realized that all the goo-goo gaa-gaa that they generated at launch still doesn't overcome the dork factor; that people riding these look like dorks who are trying to hold in a massive bowel movement, while at the same time, thinking "Look at me! Look at me!"
  • by ryanvm (247662) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @11:17AM (#5335365)
    The plan was basically this - selling Fred Estaires to disabled people restricts your target market. Ginger [Segway] could be marketed to anyone, so the market would be immensely larger.

    No no no - you've got it all wrong. His plan was to get Ginger street legal in all the big cities. Once that happened and they became popular, Segway vs automobile accidents would skyrocket and he'd be rolling in invoices for the real moneymaker - handicapped transportation. Dean Kamen is a tricky, tricky white boy.
  • Here's a guy that made a cool hack. It's something that has never been done before - a unique view at a problem that could a) change the way a great many people move about or b) fall flat on it's face.

    Guess which future the people of Slashdot take the most pleasure in. (Hint: {nelson} HA! HA! {/nelson})

  • by Matey-O (518004) <michaeljohnmiller@mSPAMsSPAMnSPAM.com> on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @11:26AM (#5335447) Homepage Journal
    He'd lose more weight and save even more money if he biked.
    And probably smell bad.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @11:30AM (#5335488)
    I am shocked by the closed minded attitude of slashdotters over the segway.

    Yeah. You would think that there would be more slashdotters who are so oblivious to how things work in the real world that they believe that segway is a good idea. I never knew that most slashdotters actually have common sense.
  • by fishbowl (7759) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:07PM (#5335806)
    A real war will provide an increased demand for things like wheelchairs, artificial limbs, etc.

  • by dead sun (104217) <aranach@gmaiPERIODl.com minus punct> on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:31PM (#5336020) Homepage Journal
    Nooooooo! This thing was going to transform our cities, remember? It was the end all be all to our traffic problems! It was to be the revolution for the pedestrian, quick, mobile, and versitile all while being small and able to fit in with pedestrian traffic. We're talking about a new paradigm in efficiency! A new model for transportation!

    Oh how I hate these days where people will gladly pay twenty thousand dollars for a vehicle that will hold them, their family or friends and other stuff like luggage or packages, all the while traveling 50 miles per hour down an open road, but refuse to give even a second thought to paying a quarter of that for a machine that will hold a quarter of the people, if you're lucky a quarter of the stuff, and going a quarter of that speed down the same road. I mean really, the price looks to scale nearly perfectly here.

    What a world we live in...
  • by betanerd (547811) <segatech AT email DOT com> on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:40PM (#5336085) Homepage
    Segway Human Interactive Transporter
  • by Lawbeefaroni (246892) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:53PM (#5336245) Homepage
    I can imagine trouble just carrying a spare tire, let alone 1/4 the "stuff."

    Really, it's silly. There is hardly a niche for this thing. For short distances I'd rather walk than have to worry about where I'm going to put the bluky scooter when I get to where I'm going. For longer distances a bike is more practical for it's greater speed and manuverability. And of course a 1970 Monte Carlo SS is way cooler for any distance. Zoom zoom.

  • by Lawbeefaroni (246892) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @01:14PM (#5336481) Homepage
    Congratulations, you paid $3800 for a bike. I can buy a painted egg for a few hundred thousand. Does that make the Segway a good deal?

  • by dubiousmike (558126) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @01:31PM (#5336679) Homepage Journal
    I thought minivans were bad enough, now I get to get stuck behind an elderly person with their segway's "blinker" on for a mile and a half...

    (no offense to your grandmother. I am sure she is an exception to the rule...)

  • by garethwi (118563) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @01:47PM (#5336892) Homepage
    Well, your grandma should just buy a bike, and get cycling. Here in Holland, people of all ages ride bikes every day, it prolongs your health, and keeps you alert. The 80 year old woman next door used to right her bike every day to go shopping, and it never did her any harm.

    At least not until she was knocked down a killed by a truck.
  • by crazyphilman (609923) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @02:03PM (#5337059) Journal
    irix said, about the Hummer H2, "It doesn't have half of the offroad capabilities of the real Hummer (HMMWV), which was selected by the U.S. military because it was the best wheeled offroad vehicle they could get."

    Man, that's the truth. I was a US Marine, and went through Humvee school (Failed, for more or less killing a Humvee! That, friends, is Not Easy, it took complete submersion in a cold, six foot deep puddle out in the sticks, and driving up a hill at speed, and even that only cracked the engine block).

    The REAL Humvee is made almost entirely of kevlar; it has a Lamborghini suspension; it has a 6.2 liter naturally aspirated diesel engine; it has a snorkel and the exhaust is pushed up seven feet so you can cross shallow rivers; it has a TWELVE SPEED automatic transmission (High, High lock, low, low lock, and the traditional 1,2,3,D for each drive setting); REAL runout tires, with plastic spines, that can withstand small arms fire; and it's completely waterproofed right down to the glow plugs.

    The REAL Humvee can climb a 60 degree angle, WITH A TRAILER IN TOW. In High Lock. I know, because we did it. I used to watch Humvees climb firebreaks in Camp Pendleton. Straight up a freakin' mountain! They were amazing things. And, the hard-shell models are bulletproof.

    I'd gladly give my left nut for one (in good working order, that is). Provided anasthesia was supplied. ;)

  • by LilGuy (150110) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @02:10PM (#5337119)
    I believe you are infringing upon the mazda trademark. Cease and desist!
  • by mbstone (457308) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @02:24PM (#5337256)
    Bitch, bitch, complain. I wouldn't buy a car without renting the same model first. Why should Segways be any different? If there is anyplace to RENT a Segway, I haven't heard about it. How about renting them, for example, at all of the Las Vegas Strip hotels? You rent the thing outside the lobby of Casino A and turn it in at Casino B. When you are ready to return to your hotel, you get another one from the pickup line at Casino B and return it to Casino A. The Segway is the perfect vehicle for Vegas Strip transportation: The casinos are all within 1/2 to 2 miles of each other, and few tourists carry any baggage except for their (dwindling) bankrolls. Only problem, it would put the Vegas taxicab mafia out of business.
  • by Kombat (93720) <kombat@kombat.org> on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @03:20PM (#5337810) Homepage
    My legs can carry me at 5mph for hours.

    Really? That's actually quite a brisk clip, you know. And "hours?" Sounds like you're in extraordinary shape. This begs the question: what the heck are you doing reading Slashdot??? :)

    Well, that, or you're lying.

  • by PapaZit (33585) on Thursday February 20, 2003 @12:01AM (#5341235)
    You know that there are quite a few people who think nothing of running a 26 mile marathon, right?

    I know that this is Slashdot and all, but the skeptics doubting the ability of anyone to walk quickly for more than a few minutes is really funny.

    I walk about two miles to work and back every day. I've walked 15 miles without problems before. I'm overweight and can't lift much more than a 21" monitor. I can't run a block without getting winded. Only here would I be considered a model of physical fitness.

There must be more to life than having everything. -- Maurice Sendak

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