Three years after its Human Transporter was supposed to change the world, Dean Kamen's innovation factory unveils a successor that just wants to have fun.
By Jenny EverettPosted 11.07.2004 at 4:00 pm 0 Comments
I’ve just stepped onto the factory floor at Segway world headquarters in Bedford, New Hampshire, when two engineers sporting matching jeans (tapered), shirts (plaid) and hairlines (receding) glide by and shoot me matching expressions (grins). “Doesn’t anyone walk around here?” I ask, as the distinctive, almost melodic hum of the Human Transporter (HT) trails off. Segway development engineer David Robinson responds with a different expression, this one more quizzical than the one on his colleagues’ faces. “Would you?” he asks.
We love new tech, but it takes a lot to make two PopSci staffers say "Cool!" in unison. That's what happened when Amichai Turm, chief technology officer at Israel-based VKB Ltd., fired up his company's prototype keyboard. The wee 1.4- by 1.4- by 2.6-inch device isn't a keyboard at all, but a small projector that transmits a full QWERTY display onto the surface in front of you. Touch a letter or number, and you hear a comforting clicking sound as your PDA or cellphone registers the input. In our informal tests, the device made surprisingly few errors.