You can wait for a hoverboard, or you can strap on these nifty rocket skates instead.
Today’s biggest winner on Kickstarter is a company called ACTON, which posted a project called ACTON R ROCKETSKATES yesterday.
Within 24 hours, they’d sold all 125 pairs of electric skates which strap on over your shoes and blew past their target of $50,000 with 43 days of pledges remaining.
If you’ve always felt it’s just a matter of when and not if humans will ever get powered shoes, you’re probably familiar with the name ACTON.
A couple of years ago, they made an early attempt at the same mobility device – also via Kickstarter – and called it SpnKix. After a solid showing at CES in Las Vegas, reviews were… mixed.
Some Kickstarter backers were happy, others complained about a perceived steep learning curve, poor battery life and the fact they were just way heavier than expected.
I was one who watched SpnKix inventor Peter Treadway give lessons to a few brave souls, including my colleague Claire Connelly.
She was one of “steep learning curve” graduates:
Clearly, undeterred, Treadway went back to the drawing board and it’s obvious that ACTON are much, much closer to getting it right this time around.
“We have a very talented team and have done numerous testing to ensure ease of use, safety and max the fun,” he said.
“Most importantly, these electric skates are remote-free and smart.”
Yes, SpnKix were controlled by a handheld remote and asking your hands to move your feet forward seemed at odds with nature. They were also an encased shoe.
Rocket Skates fit over the top of your shoes. You simply choose which foot you’ll lead with, and by tilting it forward, you get lift-off.
They’re also 15 per cent lighter and faster – so topping out at around 20km/h. SpnKix gave you around 11km per four-hour charge; Rocket Skates can give you up 16km on a 90 minute charge.
Treadway demonstrated his upgraded mobile shoes at the recent Wearable Technologies Conference in San Francisco to mostly positive reviews and finally hit the launch button on Kickstarter yesterday, offering an introductory price of $199 for 25 backers, and $249 for the next 100 backers.
“Our Rocket Deal was sold out less than 10 min! Literally like we pushed out the link, these deals are gone,” he said.
That’s proved to be a bargain – the regular retail prices will range from $499 to $699 depending on the speed and range you’re after.
“$199 has no profit at all, we actually lose money,” Treadway said. “We use this deal to show our appreciation to our fans and supporters, just as a gift to them.”
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