Motorized shoes ready to roll into stores

Jan 12, 2012 by Chris Lefkow
Industrial designer Peter Treadway shows off a pair of battery powered high-tech footware at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 11. The shoes can travel at speeds of up to 10 miles per hour.

Tired of walking? An American inventor has designed a pair of motorized shoes.

The battery powered high-tech footware called "spnKiX" resemble a cross between a ski boot and a roller skate with oversized wheels and are among the on display at the (CES) in Las Vegas.

A user straps the motorized on to their and away they go, gliding smoothly along at speeds of up to 10 miles per hour (16 kilometers per hour).

The futuristic shoes are the brainchild of Peter Treadway, a Los Angeles-based industrial designer.

"I've been developing some form of wearable transportation since the 1990s but just in the last, say like eight years, I realized the real necessity for it," Treadway told AFP.

"I was going to lunch one day and couldn't find a place to park," he said. "So I thought 'Why don't I make something that could get me from home to someplace really close by?'

"It's just turned into this fun kind of product."

Treadway said each shoe has a battery and a motor and they are synchronized to work together as "sort of mirrors of each other."

The rechargeable battery in the spnKiX allows the wearer to go about two to three miles on a single charge and needs about two to three hours to fully juice up again.

The allows the wearer to go about two to three miles (3-5 kilometers) on a single charge and needs about two to three hours to fully juice up again.

A handheld wireless smaller than a deck of cards controls the speed of shoes.

"It's very simple," Treadway said.

Not everyone finds the shoes easy to use at first, however. Training wheels are provided to take the pain out of the learning process.

"To achieve some proficiency could take you anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours," Treadway said, depending on the individual.

Some of the money for the spnKiX was raised on Kickstarter, a website which collects donations for creative projects.

"We didn't know what we were getting into there," Treadway said. "We're past triple the amount that we asked for. Our funding goal was $25,000. We're now above $80,000.

"People are psyched," he said.

Treadway said the shoes, made by his Los Angeles-based company, Acton Inc., will begin shipping in March and will sell for $649 a pair.

Treadway holds degrees in industrial design, including one from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, but he said his interest in fashion contributed to the development of the motorized shoes.

"I also have a little bit of a fashion background," he said. "Which is kind of the reason why these ended up being wearable.

"I see kind of the way that a shoe designer would see a pair of shoes."

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User comments : 19

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Squirrel
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 12, 2012
Want for the first person to trip and sue. This kind of product is legal suicide--at least in the US. You cannot stop Americans having accidents and then hiring smart lawyers that threaten financial ruin on a product's manufacturer. Look at the history of Piper Aircraft and other American builders of light aircraft and how they were bankrupted by accident claims in the early 1990s. http://www.answer...raft-inc
kochevnik
1 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2012
There are hundreds of thousands of products that could be indited under the liability umbrella. There is insurance for that kind of industrial risk. Just because something moves doesn't mean it's more risky than say, a shampoo that makes your nads shrink. If there's a glaring safety defect the custom office or whatever agency you have in the US should ban such things outright. Chinese motorcycles come to mind. Even more dangerous than our soviet motorbikes at any speed.
Sinister1811
2.3 / 5 (15) Jan 12, 2012
This sort of thing would mean that people would be walking or running a lot less and, as a result, getting less exercise and losing less weight than ever before.
Mayday
2.2 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2012
Great idea. And I like that the price is well within reach, unlike the ridiculous price of the segway. Great for moving moderate distances easily. I can imagine so many uses. I'll probably use a pair to commute to work. I do wish the wheels were slightly larger and mounted on a soft suspension system -- somehow I'm imagining the possibility of knee strain via bumps with these wheels, especial as most riders will be wearing a backpack. But I love it. A great idea for getting up and around without using an enormous and isolating automobile. Oh, and of course, like all early battery-powered tech -- it needs greater range. But I still love it.
Mayday
1.8 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2012
Checking out the photos more closely, I do see a small problem with the tiny rear wheel. An obstacle or surface deviation as small as one inch tall will stop you cold. I really hope that they address this before going ahead with production. The addition of an inclined metal slide-strip in front of the rear wheel would help it get up and over short bumps. And they definitely need to ship with extra replacements included for that little plastic wheel.
Eric_B
4.5 / 5 (8) Jan 12, 2012
anyone ever heard of a BICYCLE?!?
Xbw
1.6 / 5 (29) Jan 12, 2012
Only in America do we find a way to make walking obsolete. This is the next segway.

Also, anyone notice that they said the range is roughly 3 miles and takes 3 hours to charge? That means 1 mile per hour. I can walk faster than that and recharge with a nice fattening cheeseburger. Score 1 for the human body!
Noumenon
4 / 5 (58) Jan 12, 2012
Ya Xbw, there probably not practical for cross country trips. Perhaps around school or business campus or used in warehouses and the like where golf carts and bicycles are too unwieldy.
Skepticus
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 12, 2012
Still it is too much work to stand up. Customers who buy these motorized shoes will tire of them quickly, and trade up to a more comfortable motorized wheelchair.
dschlink
4.5 / 5 (2) Jan 12, 2012
Almost good enough to get to the supermarket in a reasonable amount of time. If I could get there and back in 20 minutes, rather than the hour it takes to walk, it would be an alternative to driving. Bicycling is way too dangerous on the local streets.
Pratyeka
2 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2012
Given the current increase of the average american body weight, do they really need another excuse for not exercising? If the streets are not safe for bicycling because of motor vehicles, then forbid motor vehicles in cities... oh, sorry, this is america, land ruled by irrational hypocrites via "democracy".
Deathclock
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 13, 2012
These won't be annoying in the mall... I mean, they will be extremely annoying.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (7) Jan 13, 2012
Given the current increase of the average american body weight, do they really need another excuse for not exercising? If the streets are not safe for bicycling because of motor vehicles, then forbid motor vehicles in cities... oh, sorry, this is america, land ruled by irrational hypocrites via "democracy".


"Forbid motor vehicles in the city".

You must live in a socialist paradise to be so quick to roll over and give up your freedoms like that. You might as well bend over and grab your ankles now so that you are least prepared when you are violated by your government.
Cave_Man
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 13, 2012
Given the current increase of the average american body weight, do they really need another excuse for not exercising? If the streets are not safe for bicycling because of motor vehicles, then forbid motor vehicles in cities... oh, sorry, this is america, land ruled by irrational hypocrites via "democracy".


"Forbid motor vehicles in the city".

You must live in a socialist paradise to be so quick to roll over and give up your freedoms like that. You might as well bend over and grab your ankles now so that you are least prepared when you are violated by your government.

Where does your freedom end and mine begin? Can I run a chainsaw outside your window 24 hours a day or have an opera concert on your sidewalk?

The government paves the roads dude. We pay the govt. so therefore if enough people don't want cars in cities that's how its going to be.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (5) Jan 13, 2012
"Forbid motor vehicles in the city".

You must live in a socialist paradise to be so quick to roll over and give up your freedoms like that. You might as well bend over and grab your ankles now so that you are least prepared when you are violated by your government.

Where does your freedom end and mine begin? Can I run a chainsaw outside your window 24 hours a day or have an opera concert on your sidewalk?


These analogies are not apt, I don't feel the need to respond to them.

The government paves the roads dude. We pay the govt. so therefore if enough people don't want cars in cities that's how its going to be.


Exactly, because this is America, and people don't want to "forbid cars in cities" so it isn't going to happen. Pratyeka was saying the government should do so WITHOUT this consent of the governed... You made my point for me, thank you.
Mayday
1 / 5 (1) Jan 14, 2012
If your idea of exercise is walking through a Saturday's errands, then you are deluding yourself. Get to a gym, my friend. These "shoes" will be great for healthy people who have a lot to do and see and want to cover a lot of ground with very little hassle. They are good on sidewalks (as the video proves), even with other foot traffic. They don't cost a surreal fortune (like the Segway does). They can be easily carried along once at your destination, eliminating any parking or theft concerns. And they are safer than a bicycle or Segway. The biggest disadvantage for me will be the likely wait list. I wonder if they are doing per-orders? And I will still wear a helmet, wrist guards and elbow guards. I can't wait to use them to commute to work.
Bigbobswinden
not rated yet Jan 14, 2012
he will have to change his name to Rollway! Sorry folks.
sstritt
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 14, 2012
Reminds me of ACME rocket powered rollerskates. Just what the coyote ordered.
89118a
not rated yet Jan 15, 2012
These won't be annoying in the mall... I mean, they will be extremely annoying.


OK Marion! :) Peace

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