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Future Tech: 

The Segway you drive with your phone

ninebot-mini-main

Honestly, what are the chances of this completely random segway encounter?

You already see people walking the streets with their heads down, engrossed in their phones, but soon you’ll see people on Segways do the same. That’s because there’s a new model on the way that you control from your smartphone.

The Ninebot mini is the first Segway to launch since Chinese mobile maker Xiaomi (pronounced “Show Me”) bought the company earlier this year. As you can see, it’s smaller than previous models, and cheaper too. But what we’re really interested in is this new control method.

You control the scooter through the app on your phone. As well as driving it, you can lock it. If it moves while in lock mode – say someone nudges it or tries to steal it – you’ll get an alert through the app.

Of course you don’t have to drive it using your phone. That knee-high stick detects the movement of your legs, so you just lean to steer. It’s easy, but don’t take our word for it, watch these men in matching outfits prove it via the medium of synchronized dance:

So, the specs. Its top speed is about 10mph, and it can travel 13 miles on a single charge. That should be enough to get you to work and back. No problems if your office is up a (slight) hill either, as it can climb slopes of up to 15 degrees, carrying a maximum weight of 187 lbs.

But perhaps the most eye-catching thing about it is the price. It costs just 1,999 yuan, which works out at about $316. That’s much cheaper than a traditional Segway, and more on a par with the self-balancing scooters that have been becoming more popular recently.

Sadly, the Ninebot mini will only be sold in China when it goes on sale on November 3. But Xiaomi phones used to be exclusive to China too, and are now available around the world, so who knows.

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