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Rolling into the Future on Onewheel

TECH

Rolling into the Future on Onewheel

A self-balancing electric board that can be tailored for specific riders and road conditions

by Josh Rubin
on 13 January 2015
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Now that 2015—the year that "Back to the Future" predicted hoverboards would hit the streets—is upon us, Future Motion Inc. has brought the dream of the space-age mode of transportation a little closer with Onewheel. A self-balancing electric board that relies on a single motor-propelled inflatable go-cart wheel for motion, Onewheel borrows from both skateboarding and snowboarding for a totally unique riding experience that's thrilling enough for boardsport enthusiasts while maintaining an ease of functionality suitable for first-time riders.

Onewheel initially launched in prototype mode at CES 2014, kicking off a crowd-funding campaign that exceeded its initial goal by over $500k in less than a month. Last week's CES saw Onewheel come to fruition as a retail product in such high demand that there is already a wait-list for future orders. Avid snowboarder and Future Motion founder Kyle Doerksen says the idea came from wanting a better way to travel a mile to work, with hopes to "bring the feeling of snowboarding to pavement." Onewheel succeeds in doing just that with an advanced balance-augmentation system that allows directional control by leaning the body, working side to side for direction, and forward and backward for speed or deceleration. In addition, the motor-propelled wheel makes uphill travel a breeze.

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Future Motion coupled its product launch by introducing the Onewheel app, which connects the board to iOS via Bluetooth. The app uses Digital Shaping to properly tailor the board to specific riders and road conditions, allowing users to set and monitor top speeds, acceleration points and degree of cornering. The app also provides tutorials for new riders and control of the board's LED lighting system. Most significantly however, the app grants Onewheel riders the ability to upgrade their boards via cloud by unlocking new features with firmware upgrades. With this app, Onewheel becomes a total lifestyle experience unlike any other.

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Onewheel is available to purchase for $1500 on the company's website.

Images by Josh Rubin

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