Segway doesn’t mention hoverboards in today’s official Ninebot by Segway MiniPro availability announcement. Of course, it’s easy to see why the company would be so quick to distance itself from the incredibly popular but extremely problematic product category. For one thing there’s the whole exploding problem that has set in motion a scramble to better regulate the market.
We brought up the h-word with Brian Buccella, the company’s VP of Marketing and Business Development, who told us, “as the definitive leader in this space, we entered the market because we’re confident we can deliver a better and safer product; a premium product. We actually do not consider the miniPRO to be a hoverboard – it’s an entirely different class of product.”
For one thing, Segway went through the hassle of getting the little scooter certified under UL’s 2272 electrical system safety guidelines, which revolve around the battery and charging systems that have led to a lot of very unfortunate circumstances – and some fairly memorable Instagram videos.
The little scooter, which can be pre-ordered today from Amazon (with shipping set for June 29th), is built around Segway’s patented self-balancing technology, which the company is quick to add, has never been licensed out to third parties. It features a knee-control bar and works with an app that offers dashboard data, a security alarm and allows for remote operation.
The $999 personal mobility device weighs 28 pounds and is capable of speeds up to 10 MPH, courtesy of two 10.5-inch inflatable tires that also help it climb up inclines and roll along pavement and dirt. Buccella is also quick to add that, “while the miniPRO is extremely fun to ride, it’s not a toy. It’s the next generation of personal transportation for consumers.”
The transporter’s somewhat unwieldy Ninebot by Segway MiniPro name comes courtesy of a merger between Beijing-based Ninebot and New Hampshire-based Segway that occurred back in April of last year.