Monday, August 2, 2010

Teens ON Tech - will the Ewee PT help the Segway?

When Louis Gray tweeted about a re-launch of Daniel Brusilovsky's Teens in Tech website, I figured I'd check it out. And I found an interesting post by Jeremy Gofman entitled "Mini Segways Ready For Pre-order In Germany." Technically, however, they aren't strictly Segways, as the article notes: might be interested in the latest product from an underground German company called Ewee. They’ve basically made a poor man’s Segway. It’s “the Segway’s little sister”, and it’s brother was an Atari 2600, and it’s called the Ewee PT (personal transporter)

Gofman linked to the Ewee PT site, which describes the device as "a self balancing electro scooter" (obviously I was reading the English version of the site, not the German version). The Ewee has a 280x200mm footprint, weighs 25 kg, and has a height of 1200mm (or 47 inches on this side of the pond).

The Ewee is sold via Fun Components (which also has an English version of their site) at a cost of 799 Euros (or $1,058.28 when I was at the site). They're taking pre-orders now; the product is scheduled for availability on September 5. I don't know if a US-compatible charger is available for the device, and I have no idea if Fun Components will ship the product to the US, or how much it will cost.

But now I'm wondering if this announcement will give the original Segway a jolt of publicity, and potential sales. As of early 2010 (when the company was sold to a British individual), some segments of the Segway market were doing better than others:

With even the basic Segway i2 priced at $5,350, a Segway rarely could be characterized as an impulse buy. Not surprisingly, dealers said that they've seen sales to consumers drop significantly as the economy has dipped downwards. But commercial sales, mainly to police and private security forces, have helped offset the losses.

So what will happen when the Ewee PT faces off against the original Segway (at least in Germany)? Dvice, while noting that the Ewee PT was easier to get on and off because it is closer to the ground, wasn't sure:

Whether the Ewee is rugged enough for everyday use remains to be seen, and its small wheels will certainly suggest that it's better off indoors....

People may fall in love with the Ewee PT, or perhaps people might decide that they want the original Segway. I auspect that Justin Bieber fans will opt for the original:

and yes that was me riding out of the venue on a segway going thru the Burger King drive thru without security. what? I was hungry! haha

He followed up that tweet with another:

got in a little trouble for that move but had some fun with the fans and got me a whopper. Can u blame me? come on im a teenager. good times

Well, I certainly can't use the "I'm a teenager" line. And that concludes this report about Teens ON Tech.
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