I'm going to take a bit of a departure from your typical library tech update today, because I found something that's just too cool, and I wanted to share. You've probably heard of the Segway, that people mover thing that rich people and mall cops use to get around places. It's kind of cool in a gee-whiz sort of way, but even when I first saw it, I wasn't blown away by the possibilities. It's a device that costs a lot of money to do something I can do for free anyway--walk. And even then, it doesn't do it as well. Faster, yes--as long as you don't have to navigate stairs. So it was cool, but so what? And I think you've seen that 'so what' factor in action in the years since the Segway's release. It hasn't exactly changed the world we lived in, as the creator claimed it would.
Enter the eROCKIT (warning: link is in German). What is it? It's an electronic bike that can go from 0 to 50 faster than a car. It's not a motorcycle--you have to pedal to make it go. And it's got a range of about 45 miles before it has to be plugged in again. You wouldn't use this bad boy on the freeway, but getting around town? Commuting to work on side streets? Why wouldn't you? (Well, as long as you have $16,000 burning a hole in your pocket.) Even then--this thing needs no gas, it is arguably better at getting you short distances than a car, and it costs less than a car. One thing seems certain--the scooter better watch out, because the eROCKIT has its eye on it.
For more info, check out this article. If they can get the price down and figure out their manufacturing hiccups, I could see this getting some traction in the US. I couldn't use it here in a Maine winter, but a Maine spring, fall and summer? The higher gas prices get, the more attractive this is going to look.
What do you think?