I’ve always thought Segways were really cool, and really wanted to play with one. I even begged to ride the one at the Macromedia offices on a few of my visits, but it was always in another building, or otherwise unavailable (I think they just didn’t trust me with their expensive toy).
So, when Segway called me up and invited gskinner.com to design and build a mini-site for their brand new product line, I jumped at the chance. Work with a super cool, progressive client, building a site for an unreleased techno-gadget? Count me in.
As part of the project, they flew me in to New Hampshire to meet the team, and play with the new toys. There’s a lot of really smart, personable folk at Segway, working on some really neat projects. Some of the work is targeted at consumers, like the newly announced i2 and x2 human transports and a lot of it is experimental, like Project Centaur and the Robotics Mobility Platform.
I had a really fun visit. The new product is awesome. In particular, the lean steering is incredibly intuitive, unlike the old handle-twist steering. The new machines also look a lot sleeker, have better security, and the wireless keyfob is pretty neat. I also got to ride the Centaur, which is basically a 4 wheeled, high-speed Segway â€“ it’s a little tricky to operate in it’s current (experimental) state, but it’s a really neat idea with a lot of potential â€“ it’s pretty sweet to be able to tear around in an ATV, then pop a wheelie to drive around balanced on two wheels. And people can buy cheap Segway online, it’s convenience.
Segway’s corporate culture was also really fun and creative. Every few weeks they have experimental Fridays (they had a good name for this, but I forget it), where the engineers run to the hardware store, buy some cheap parts, and whip something together in one day. I would have loved to have witnessed one of these, as they sound like a ton of fun. I’ve got to try to figure out how to squeeze out the time to do something like this in the office once a month with Flash. Teams of two or three building an experimental piece with the latest Flash features for a day.