What’s a Segway?

About 80 pounds. Bad joke.
Monday on TechLive I’m going to spend an hour with Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway HT, that amazing new scooter that was known as Ginger or “it” until its debut last week.

Over the past couple of decades I’ve interviewed many of my heroes, from Walter Cronkite to Buzz Aldrin, Jimmy Stewart to John Cleese, but I’ve rarely been as excited about an interview as I am about this one. We’re going to block off the street in front of the studios and I’ll get to put the Segway through its paces. Stand back!

Steve Jobs said the Segway was the most important invention since the PC. Many believe it will revolutionize urban transportation. I personally consider Kamen the Edison of our era. I am so stoked that I’m going to get to spend an hour with him.

(LAST MINUTE UPDATE:) I spoke too soon. Kamen cancelled. Oh well. Patrick is going to the press event Monday morning so we will have some coverage on The Screen Savers Monday evening anyway.

Hey, even if Patrick’s right and it’s just an over-hyped motorized scooter, it’s gonna be cool!

Tune in or Tivo it. 4-5p Eastern on TechTV.

23 Replies to “What’s a Segway?”

  1. Leo? Would you ever want one yourself if it costs so much? I mean… look at it! I think it’s pretty neat but still it costs soooooooo much! Think of it this way… if you had only 500 clams less then it actully costs, would you try ur best to earn the cash you need? I think it’s just a waste of money.

  2. Wow! Leo you’ve interviewed some cool people! I think some of his other inventions like the insulin pump and the stair-climbing wheelchair are more useful and important than this one though. As for the Segway, “Why couldn’t he just take an existing product and put a clock in it?”

  3. I just hope it’s not really like the IT on South Park last week. If so, I’d like to say OUCH!!! well in advance.

  4. Won’t a body shaped like…I don’t know…a pumpkin on a fork…throw off the gyroscopic balance mechanisms?

  5. Can’t wait for the Interview!
    PS- Leo, you’re time is off. it’s 5:42 EST now and that would mean you would have typed this until and hour from now!

  6. I have to agree with Patrick. Why don’t we see if it can stand up to the Patrick Norton sledgehammer test. I’m sure Patrick would enjoy taking his sledgehammer to it. 🙂

  7. I expected to much from IT. Kinda upset it wasn’t something really great. If this guy is the Edison of our time, then IT will be as popular as the light bulb.

  8. Hi, Leo–I’ve been a fan of Kamen’s for quite a while and definitely agree with your characterization of him as the Edison of our times. The stent, the insulin pump, and the portable dialysis, and especially the stair-climbing wheelchair, are all fantastic.
    I’ve seen that “it” can hold at least two large briefcases, but it doesn’t appear to be designed for the soccer-moms and other car-poolers (or even just couples), and also wouldn’t work too well for bringing home a week’s worth of groceries, dry cleaning/laundry, etc.
    I DO see a lot of applications for it, though — airports, postal/package/distribution services (and I know USPS has already signed up), colleges, theme/industrial parks, medical complexes — almost any kind of “campus” where combustion engines aren’t appropriate but could benefit from employees having a way to get around that’s faster than walking and environmentally friendly.
    By the way, I’m curious, if this is a “Segway”, that’s a play on “segue”, which I presume means he sees it as a transition from the car to…what, do we suppose?
    Looking forward to the interview. Your interviewing styles, plus your enthusiasm and his excitement, should complement each other beautifully! Thanks for the heads-up on when it will air.

  9. Elf Bowling & Elf Bowling 2: Elves In Paradise – download page
    Download: Elf Bowling
    Description
    Strap on your best pair of bowling skates and polish up your shiny Christmas ball; it’s time to save Christmas from those greedy little union elves. Help Santa show those elves what the true meaning of strike is! Special guest appearance by Kalvin Kroaker
    http://www.bowlersparadise.com/elfbowling/

  10. Elf Bowling & Elf Bowling 2: Elves In Paradise – download page
    Download: Elf Bowling
    Description
    Strap on your best pair of bowling skates and polish up your shiny Christmas ball; it’s time to save Christmas from those greedy little union elves. Help Santa show those elves what the true meaning of strike is! Special guest appearance by Kalvin Kroaker
    http://www.bowlersparadise.com/elfbowling/

  11. Looked forward to your interview with Kamen…too bad it won’t happen.
    Speaking of bad puns, I was dissapointed with “it”; told my wife “it” would have
    to be warp drive or something along that nature to really be the “it” we’d
    like to see.
    I hope when you do get to talk to him you bring up his involvement with the FIRST
    robotics competition. While FIRST doesn’t get the media hype that Battle Bots,
    et al. got, it really got my sons up about science & tech.
    See you on SS (you wont see me tho)
    Mike
    (gotta do more mac stuff!)

  12. I think any invention that prevents able-bodied people from exercising their leg muscles *must* be a good thing…and why would anyone working in the amazon.com warehouses want to use a $30.00 scooter, when they can zip around on a $3,000 “Segway”, that has to be recharged every hour!
    Sign me up for two!

  13. Imagine the benefits to your cardiovascular system “Segwaying” along those busy city streets. When did walking become such an onerous task? Two professions will benefit from “IT”. Doctors because people will become obese from not getting enough exercise and lawyers from all those personal injury suits when someone on a Segway collides into a pedestrian, hits a motorist or loses control and crashes into a building. Sorry Leo I don’t equate this battery charged lawnmower with the lightbulb.

  14. Why is everyone so grouchy? Hey, the Segway is the beginning of something, not the end… it’s a work in progress, as I see it. As for exercise, don’t you think the folks getting them will get A LOT of exercise when the battery dies or the thing stops working, and they are miles from home? They’ll get a lot of exercise wheeling it all the way back home, or to the nearest re-charge block.
    When Dean Kamen invents the Quidditch Nimbus 2000, then he’ll be my hero. C’mon, it’s gotta be possible!

  15. I went on a segway tour around Rome, I felt like James Bond or something. it was thrilling but very scary that is for sure.

Comments are closed.