WSJ on Onewheel: The Futuristic Toy We Hoped For
By Cody Pickens
Wall Street Journal
November 16, 2016 — Santa Cruz, CA
What is this unicycle-skateboard hybrid that appears to have been engineered by hackers on mushrooms at Burning Man?
The hoverboard movement has produced mostly cheap, childish and dangerously flammable devices. And then there’s the rugged, versatile Onewheel.
(Photo 1 of 7, above) A common first reaction is confusion: What is this unicycle-skateboard hybrid that appears to have been engineered by hackers on mushrooms at Burning Man? Then you step on with both feet, which activates the gyro-stabilizers and helps you to balance. Credit: Cody Pickens for The Wall Street Journal)
(Photo 2 of 7, above) Lean forward, and a two-horsepower motor engages automatically. Today’s version turns smoothly in response to heel-and-toe pressure and reaches a straight-line top speed of 16 miles per hour—twice as fast as the beta model launched via Kickstarter in 2015. Which is to say the best hoverboard in production flies and carves. (Credit: Cody Pickens for The Wall Street Journal)
(Photo 3 of 7, above) The idea, according to its inventor, Kyle Doerksen, was to simulate the floating sensation of snowboarding on fresh powder—something he has been chasing since his childhood in Calgary, Alberta. The Onewheel makes streets feel like ski slopes but can also handle grass, dirt, gravel, sand, steep hills and swift descents. Early adopters were mostly skaters and snowboarders such as former Olympian Todd Richards, who calls the Onewheel “probably the most fun you can have covering ground in a town that has varied terrain to explore.” (Credit: Cody Pickens for The Wall Street Journal)
Continue reading article here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/onewheel-the-futuristic-toy-we-hoped-for-1476887071