The “future of transportation” is here once again with Xiaomi revealing its Ninebot Mini, a self-balancing scooter made in collaboration with Segway, this afternoon.
The “hoverboard thingy” was unveiled this afternoon in Beijing by Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun. It is made of super-strong magnesium alloy and travels 22km in a single charge, even up 15 degree inclines. As the name might suggest, the Ninebot Mini is much smaller than previous Segway designs.
Its priced at 1999RMB (around $314) or the same price as a nice Xiaomi smartphone. There is even an accompanying smartphone app that allows you to control the scooter remotely and check the charge and speed, which sounds safe.
It will officially go on sale November 3rd (the same banner day in which you can no longer purchase the Modern China Burger from McDonald’s), but only in mainland China.
Xiaomi developed it in conjunction with Beijing-based startup Ninebot, which earlier this year aquired the struggling Segway company with the help of an $80 million investment from Xiaomi. Before that Ninebot was just some “Segway copycat” company accused in court by Segway of violating its patents.
Segway didn’t quite manage to revolutionize the transportation industry as founder Dean Kaman had hoped when he boasted that his creation “will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy.” Instead, in America it has mostly just caught on with mall cops and has been ridiculed as one of the worst inventions of the 21st century.
We’ll see how it fares in China where it already has found fans among Chinese police on Tiananmen Square and Bo Xilai gift-givers.
We would be remiss not to mention that Segway had already been sold off twice before to investors, in 2009 and then again in 2013. The first British investor died in a 2010 Segway crash.
[Images via Xiaomi]