Forget Segways, Electric Skateboards Are The New Way To Explore

Too cool for a Segway tour? No need to worry, battery-powered skateboards will soon be on the market thanks to a new company called Boosted Boards.

Less bulky than bikes, these boards have the potential to change the way people explore cities. They can be carried anywhere – including on airplanes – allowing people to stop and go as they please (and easily hop off to bypass obstacles like stairs). A handheld remote control allows the rider to control the speed and brakes, so all the rider has to do is worry about balancing and avoiding barriers.

The battery lasts for about six miles, and when its time to recharge, the board just needs to be plugged into a normal wall outlet for 15 minutes (at that rate, it means about a dollar of electricity can power one of these skateboards for more than 600 miles). And if you’re worried about oomph, consider this: the boards have so much gusto they can climb up the hills of San Francisco at 20 mph.

More than 1,100 people got behind the boards on Kickstarter, where inventors reeled in more than four times the money they needed to launch. Boosted Boards is now accepting pre-orders for the new mode of transport, which the company plans to deliver in winter 2013.

[via Mashable and TED talks]

Adventure Activities in Singapore

Contrary to popular belief, Singapore offers more than just skyscrapers and street food. In the last few years, the Asian city-state has transformed itself into a premiere destination for adventure and nature lovers. Singapore doesn’t just have gardens; it is a city within a garden. Plus, its tropical climate makes it the perfect place to indulge in outdoor pursuits year round.

What does this mean for adventure travelers? The unique opportunity to indulge in world-class adventures from the comfort of one of the world’s most well ordered cities. Care to go under the sea? Reef diving is available just 30 minutes off the coast. Looking to be airborne? Try zip-lining on Sentosa Island.

For Singaporeans, active pursuits aren’t just a luxury; …

Will This Motorized Unicycle Redefine Transportation? (VIDEO)

Watch out, Segway – there’s a new kind of people mover in town, and you don’t even have to stand up to use it. Earlier this week, Honda introduced the UNI-CUB, a self-balancing electric vehicle intended to transport people inside large buildings such as airports, museums and shopping malls. The compact device looks kind of like a futuristic motorized unicycle, except there is an extra wheel on the back for maneuverability. Similar to the Segway, riders simply shift their weight to move backward and forward, side-to-side, or even diagonally. But unlike the Segway, users are free to use their hands and are able to buzz along on the compact device while sitting at eye-level with pedestrians, making the UNI-CUB an unobtrusive addition to foot traffic (besides, of course, all the people who stop to stare).

For travelers, especially those with disabilities, the UNI-CUB has the potential to revolutionize getting from place to place. People who cannot walk long distances are currently limited to using cumbersome scooters – especially when standing upright on a Segway for a long period of time is not an option. Since it’s less bulky, weights only 22 pounds, and can be folded up into a carrying case, the UNI-CUB also might be able to help users get through airport security and board planes with ease.

This is all just speculation, of course. Honda does not yet have a planned release date for the robot unicycle. Besides, we can’t forget that even the Segway never lived up to its hype as a product that would redefine the way we travel. Instead, the machine is most commonly known as a shopping center patrol vehicle. It doesn’t look like we’ll see armies of UNI-CUBs replacing the Segways that are now popular for city tours, either. The transporter is intended for indoor use only and moves at walking speed, about 3.7 miles per hour.

Is the UNI-CUB just another ridiculous people mover, or would you go along for a ride on the sit-down Segway? Personally, I think I’ll hold out for my own hovercraft.

SkyMall Monday: Personal Electronic Transporter

For the first time ever, I’m writing SkyMall Monday while onboard a plane. As I type this, I’m approximately 37,000 feet above a spotted layer a clouds providing an obstructed view of various Caribbean islands. Typically, I craft these posts from SkyMall Monday headquarters in New York using the SkyMall website. This week, however, I am thrilled to be getting back to the basics and enjoying the SkyMall catalog in its natural habitat. Perusing SkyMall aboard a plane gives me goosebumps as I carefully devour page after page of inventions birthed by necessity’s slutty sister, laziness. It’s sloth that guides so many of our modern decisions. We microwave meals because cooking is a bothersome chore. We trust Wikipedia and Google to immediately deliver information – no matter how inaccurate – because actual research is tedious. We wear Velcro shoes because laces are complicated. We’re all seeking protection from the ceaseless attack of effort. So, while I’m reclined (yes, I recline my seat) sevent miles above Earth reading the SkyMall catalog, all I can think about is how I can make my life less taxing once I land. I’m crippled by thoughts of trudging through the airport, walking to the grocery store tomorrow to restock my kitchen, hiking to the bathroom to avoid wetting my bed. My feet ache as the journeys play out in my mind. Surely there must be a way to avoid such labor. Then, on page 25 of the Summer 2010 edition of the SkyMall catalog, the end of those death marches presents itself. No longer must I force one leg in front of the other. There but by the grace of laziness goes the Electric Personal Transporter.The Electric Personal Transporter is everything the modern man of leisure needs. It’s electric, so it’s free from the environmental guilt that comes from gasoline-powered vehicles. It’s personal, which relieves the rider from the exhaustion bred by conversation with a co-passenger. Lastly, as a transporter, it does all the moving for you. It’s the most perfect invention since bacon wrapped bacon.

Think that the human body is perfectly designed for an ambulatory lifestyle? Well, ambulances are ambulatory and I don’t want to find myself being transported in the back of one of those. Think about that while you read the product description that I have to actually type out because I can’t copy-and-paste from the paper catalog resting on the tray table next to me:

This is the four-wheeled electric personal vehicle that provides effortless, smooth 12-14 mph transport on paved paths, driveways, or sidewalks for quick, easy errands or leisurely rides through the park.

Unlike the two-wheeled Segway, the Electric Personal Transporter comes with a basket to securely carry your Twinkies, Baconaisse and Double Downs with ease. With the ability to carry riders “up to 350 lbs. for up to 20 miles,” you can even ride to the Pizza Hut that’s just a little farther away but stuffs their crusts fuller than the one closer to your house. Score!

Necessity gets all the credit, but laziness has birthed litters of inventions that have revolutionized the way we live. Life is so hard that even recreation is tough. When relaxation becomes stressful, SkyMall provides the epidural so that laziness can pop out a beautiful baby Electric Personal Transporter.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

Washington, DC tour guides lose right to be wrong

The right to an accurate tour is conspicuously absent from the Bill of Rights – unlike the freedom to run your mouth endlessly. For this reason, tour guides are fighting new regulations intended to ensure that visitors to our nation’s capital get the correct info. Tour guides will have to pass a 100-question, multiple choice exam that includes questions about Washington, DC‘s architecture, history and more.

Of course, some tour guides are pretty ripped about this.

Segs in the City, Segway tour company, claims that the exam infringes on their right to free speech. The company’s owners, Bill Main and Tonia Edwards, have filed a federal lawsuit to stomp out the new regs.