From the product information leak to the day Ginger was officially introduced to the world on Good Morning America in 2001, the Segway was being hailed as revolutionary product from a renowned inventor. While only a handful of individuals actually knew the specifics of the product, it was communicated as the future of transportation and possibly the most innovative invention since the internet or automobile. However, after its world debut, many believe it has not lived up to the hype. With government intervention, uncertain demand from the consumer market, and a high selling price, the Segway faces a tough battle to officially be deemed a success.
The Segway itself has both positive and negative attributes relating to its product development. On the positive side, the Segway is revolutionary in that it serves as an extension to the human. “No engine, no throttle, no gearshift and no steering wheel. And it can carry the average rider for a full day, nonstop, on only five cents’ worth of electricity.” Unlike all other forms of transportation, the Segway does not demand all the navigational tools to become mobile. Developed with the use of various microprocessors, the machine conforms to body movements in the acts of propelling oneself in any direction while maintaining balance. Additionally, the Segway can be used on various terrains, which increases the likelihood for a strong demand in both the government (e.g. military) and commercial demand. As the article put it best, the Segway is “cheap, clean, efficient, [and] maneuverable.”
Despite all the benefits of the Segway and the careful thought process that went into its production, it still faces a large concern; will this machine be viewed as a toy? This is the primary concern of Kamen and rightfully so. Kamen knows that many consumers will view it as an expensive toy as opposed to a revolutionary form of transportation. Additionally, since the Segway’s physical design is not visually ground-breaking, it does...
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