It's probably been a while since you've thought about the Segway, the auto-balancing mobility scooter made by people in tube socks and cargo shorts for people in tube socks and cargo shorts. The vehicle never lived up to its massive hype. It quickly became seen as an expensive novelty gadget for rent-a-cops, tame bachelorette parties, and Hollywood punchlines.
And now, the inevitable has finally happened, as the Segway will ignominiously be put out to pasture where it will get stuck in the grass and topple over one last time.
On July 15th, the original Segway PT, much like the ex-cops riding them for their mall gig, will be retired in disgrace. Born out of the noble work into self-balancing wheelchairs, the Segway's advent was endlessly heralded as one of the most revolutionary pieces of technology of the 21st century. A device that would disrupt the concept of feet themselves and finally bring us into the Jetsons future we've all been yearning for.
Instead, the $6,000 pogo stick on training wheels was one of the biggest failures of the original tech bubble. It became famed not for its impact on the world but the impact on people's palms when they hit the pavement, grabbing embarrassing headlines for bucking off President Bush and almost ending Usain Bolt's career. Over a two-decade run, Segway managed to sell only a paltry 140,000 units, its sales plummeting as fast as its owner Jimi Heselden, who died of irony when his Segway threw him off a cliff in 2010. No, seriously:
But at least the Segway went out on its own terms: not going anywhere before taking an awkwardly long time to fall. And its legacy is still seen on the streets today, from the many derelict e-scooters polluting the pavement to those six months that everyone's dick nephew zoomed around on a hoverboard. And this setback isn't holding back Segway's inventor Dean Kamen either. He recently announced that he will be creating a new startup that will start mass-manufacturing engineered human organs -- though I'm not sure if there's a market for kidneys that'll fall out of your asshole whenever you tilt too far to the right.
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Top Image: Pixabay