If you've ever dreamed of zooming around like the blob-like humans in WALL-E, the future keeps looking better and better. On Monday, Xiaomi revealed an all new self-balancing personal scooter, or the Ninebot Mini, and it appears to be the Chinese technology company's answer to the hip "hoverboard" devices you see tools riding around everywhere.
Best known for its smartphones in China, Xiaomi owns a significant stake in Ninebot, which recently acquired Segway. But unlike the ultra-cool classic Segway scooters often seen carrying lazy mall cops and tour groups, the new device is seemingly targeting a young and hip crowd at the relatively affordable price point of $316 (RMB 1,999), according to a report by Forbes. The Ninebot Mini sports a knee-high handle and is steered by moving your legs thanks to the company's "latest Leansteer technology," which probably means the convenient mobility comes with a potentially painful learning curve. There's also an accompanying smartphone app.
Additionally, at under 30lbs, the compact anti-walking machine boasts enough power to move your lazy ass around at up to 10mph, and will go more than 13 miles on a single charge. The company plans to launch the device early next month in China, but there's no word on plans for a wider release to the US or elsewhere, according to a report by Engadget. This may be a good thing, considering you'll need as much time as you can get to become cool enough to even dare ride one.
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and dares anyone to try cruising down an NYC sidewalk on one of these things without accidentally -- or intentionally -- running down a tourist. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.