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Old 07-07-2014, 07:40 PM   #11
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Wired Magazine - March 2003

In those first days after going public with his new device, he was like all inventors - a dreamer who could not help himself. If widely adopted, the Segway would lead to urban redesign and renewal, Kamen said. His boldest claim came when he predicted in Time that the Segway "will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy."
Please provide link to the quote you are citing. Notice that he did say "If widely adopted,..." It's a pretty good article, worth a read 11 years later.

Check out the post about "Segway City" today 3D Printing of Custom Segway Parts in Japan.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gihgehls View Post
The difference is that DK never made statements such as "In 5 years, all diabetics will be wearing this pump" or "injection syringes will be obsolete in 3 years" or "hospitals of the future will be designed around this stent."
Good points.

I would say that we need to consider where these statements are being made. There is a certain marketing aspect to these grandiose predictions, and clearly they are over the top...

My wife complains when I respond to television commercials... A Cadillac commercial may come on, and claim that I can save $10,000 if a buy a particular car this weekend... I respond to the television that I can save $60,000 and not buy it at all.

In advertisements, claims are made all the time that are a reach or over the top. Some super model will tell you to eat her cereal. I got news for you, if you are old enough to go to the store and buy her cereal, and you do not look like her now, you are not going to look like her after breakfast either...

I see his visionary statements, and lets remember that many other, big movers and shakers have said similar and even more outrageous statements on behalf of the segway, as a form of marketing. He feels, like many visionaries, that if he can share the vision and get enough people to buy in, literally, then that vision has more likelihood of becoming a reality.

I am not saying his statements are accurate, or even that he aught not be held accountable, but I believe it is reasonable and common to allow a certain latitude for artists and creative people who often see the world differently than most people, and express the world they see instead of the world we see. We do this because their subjective reality often actually makes our less subjective reality better...

And for the record, Segway Inc has steadfastly denied the segway is a 'mobility aide' even though it has significantly improved many with mobility issues. And regardless of what was said or not, micro infusion pumps have materially changed the treatment for type 1 Diabetes, not 100%, but to a large and undeniable percentage...
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Last edited by KSagal; 07-07-2014 at 09:24 PM..
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:30 PM   #13
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We are in agreement. I definitely pay attention when DK talks, because when he does so he oozes passion, which is really quite inspiring. I do find myself glossing over his words when he makes predictions, because no matter how smart you are, you can't know the future. I do drill down to find the facts, because he is always talking about something interesting and likely, important.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gihgehls View Post
The difference is that DK never made statements such as "In 5 years, all diabetics will be wearing this pump" or "injection syringes will be obsolete in 3 years" or "hospitals of the future will be designed around this stent."
It makes me wonder how much more/less popular the Segway would('ve) been if he'd have said 'This device will be a failure and only lame people will want it'


Edit: Sarcasm...

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Old 07-08-2014, 07:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tritium View Post
It makes me wonder how much more/less popular the Segway would('ve) been if he'd have said 'This device will be a failure and only lame people will want it'


Edit: Sarcasm...
I know you had your tongue firmly in cheek, but I wonder if your comment is what is seen by most?

I know that somewhere between 50 and 100 thousand machines seem to have been made. Not nearly what was predicted by some, but not a garage project either...

13 years after the introductions of 2001, the company still exists. That alone is against the odds. Most start-ups do not make it that long.

There are some, mobility impaired come to mind, but there may be others, where the segway fits a truly unique position that cannot be matched by other devices of other designs.

The Chinese have copied it, and have it in mass production as a knock off. (I wonder if there are more copies than originals out there, (Freego, etc)

All of this does not indicate failure to me, except as compared to the expectations drawn in the beginning...

I think it would be considered a full on success, if recognized as a nitch market item if the roll-out went more like this,

" We have a cool new device here, totally unique, with a never before seen control system for personal transportation... We hope you like it, and tell your friends..."

With humble introductions, I wonder if the Segway would have been considered a true success...
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:56 PM   #16
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"And for the record, Segway Inc has steadfastly denied the segway is a 'mobility aide' even though it has significantly improved many with mobility issues. And regardless of what was said or not, micro infusion pumps have materially changed the treatment for type 1 Diabetes, not 100%, but to a large and undeniable percentage.."
I have a nephew whose life depends on his pump, didn't realize it is DK who produced it.
What is the reason Segway Corp denies the "Mobility Aid" aspect of their product? Without it I would be in a wheel chair and/or deceased.



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Old 07-18-2014, 11:43 PM   #17
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<snip> What is the reason Segway Corp denies the "Mobility Aid" aspect of their product? Without it I would be in a wheel chair and/or deceased.

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If you do some google searches for iBot you will find pictures of the Johnson & Johnson wheelchair that was build with DEKA technology. My understanding was that Segway is not allowed to compete with the that product.

Too bad, my iBot "fitting" was scheduled for the day after they stopped selling them

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Old 10-23-2014, 03:42 PM   #18
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What is the reason Segway Corp denies the "Mobility Aid" aspect of their product? Without it I would be in a wheel chair and/or deceased.
It is my recollection that Segway LLC did not have the rights to market Kaman's technology for medical/mobility devices. As JGBackes points out, Johnson & Johnson had that. I read here on Segway Chat that the original agreement regarding assignment of rights for medical/mobility may have elapsed, but I do not know if that is correct.

I also recall some discussions involving the trials and testing any product has to go through to get approval for medical/mobility equipment. It's expensive, and Segway could barely manage new racing stripes for the latest Gen II products.

Also keep in mind that Segway doesn't market to individuals, in general.
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:05 PM   #19
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What is the reason Segway Corp denies the "Mobility Aid" aspect of their product? Without it I would be in a wheel chair and/or deceased.



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Ralfus,

There is another reason, beyond the legal issue with J&J in my opinion.

A segway, while a great item, and a true life quality changer for many, is a device that is designed for universal design, not for the impaired.

Universal design is something that is designed to have the widest possible application. That is very different than something designed as a handicap aide. (Even if used as a handicap aide, very nicely...)

I have substantially rebuilt my home over the years to fit my family's needs. I understand universal design or at least some of the concepts, and have employed some of them, but that does not mean I have purposefully made my house more handicapped friendly, but I have.

I have a sister-in-law in a wheel chair. She lives in Cali, and has been to my house twice in 17 years. (I have been to her house a few more times than that, but still only a few)

I have a friend in a wheel chair that I have not seen for 12 or 15 years. He has been to my house once.

I had a relative in a wheel chair, who came to my house one time, and has been gone for 10 years.

I have another relative in a wheel chair who has been to my house once.

That is all I can remember in the last 20 years. Not a mandate to make my house handicapped accessible.

Still, every door that I work on has had handles installed instead of door knobs. The few left with knobs are doors guests are unlikely to use, like cellar to back yard, or cellar to garage. Handles are not handicapped rated, but much easier for everyone to use, especially if you have grasping or hand mobility issues.

Also, every door that I have rebuilt or installed, (about 8 of the 30 or so in the house) have been replaced with 6 or 8 panel pine (because I like it) at 36 inches (because it is universal in design). The master bathroom I built has no reasonable need for a 36 inch door, but I like it. The bedroom door you must go thru to get to it is the original 30 inches. ( I will eventually replace it when needed.)

The Bathroom downstairs I did rebuild for my Mother in Law, who had Alzheimers, but no mobility issues. Still, I installed the 36 inch door on the chance that someone might need be in the bath to assist her. Also the reason for the comfort height commode, and the over sized shower.

None of these things are handicapped rated, but all are items that a mobility impaired person might appreciate.

I could go on and on about the universal design concepts I have added to my home, but I hope the point is made. Many universal designed items are indeed a helpful or useful addition to a handicapped or mobility impaired persons environment, but that still does not make them 'Mobility Aides' that aught be regulated by the government.

I have said that my segway is a mobility device. Most days, most people would not consider me mobility impaired by pretty much any reasonable standard. Legal definitions aside (because surgeries and technology used in my rebuilt legs has kept me ahead of the curve) I do not need a mobility device. Yet I own one.

I maintain that everyone on a segway is more mobile than everyone not on a segway. A mobility impaired veteran with a bad knee has improved mobility when he gets on his segway. (me) A very fit marathon runner who can easily run 25 or more miles has improved mobility when he gets on a segway. (Definitely not me!)

I believe that while declaring a segway to be a mobility device will have some advantages to some people protected by the ADA, it is only an advantage because of a poorly worded law, or a poorly understood portion of society, and it is falling horribly short of an adequate definition of a segway...

(And a side note, my son is type 1 diabetic, and the pump he uses has substantially improved the quality of his life.)
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:57 AM   #20
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It's more complicated than any single reason. "Universal design" doesn't mean you can't still market the product in a specific way toward a targeted audience (e.g., ads in publications targeted toward a disabled population).

But originally, it had everything to do with the fact that the Segway was born from the work on the J&J wheelchair (iBOT) that could climb stairs. Rather than upset a corporate partner, it was easier to say, "Here, you can have all rights to this market, we're happy with the much larger consumer market."

Since J&J stopped selling the wheelchair in 2009 (neither insurance companies nor Medicare wanted to pay for its extra cost even with its amazing extra abilities), it's possible DEKA or Segway could reacquire those rights. But it would require lots of (new) resources to do so, market properly, and ensure they did so in a way that could take on the least liability.

My impression of the Segway company today is they remain resource-constrained, and don't have the ability to pursue this market even if they could legally do so.

Last, just my personal impression, but the Gen. 1s made better disabled Segways than the Gen 2s because of their fixed handlebars. Since they are long out of production, it might also make things a little less attractive for Segway.

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