Old and busted: The Segway. New hotness: The electric, Self-Balancing Unicycle.
There are engineers out there who want commuters to replace their bikes, cars and trains with a self-righting, battery-powered wheel. Focus Designs came up with the Self Balancing Unicycle, which is packed with technology that's supposed to keep you from tumbling into pedestrians.
After about a 30 minute learning curve -- a solid hour for HuffPost employees -- the unicycle's real hook is that it doesn't have to be locked up outside like a bike.
"The idea is that you can leave your car at home, and still take this thing on the subway if you need," said Tim Goebel, president of Commute Connect, which is marketing the unicycle. "It's small, it's compact, and it's lightweight. It widens the scope of what's an attractive commute for most people."
It's also filled with accelerometers and gyroscopes that keep you from biting the dust, which makes it pretty expensive. A new one with a rechargeable battery goes for $1795.
It's easier than it sounds -- HuffPost Weird News got to try it on Friday, and the learning curve is much faster than a regular unicycle. Lean forward, move faster. Lean back, slow down. Any loss of balance can (usually) be righted by a twist of the hips. Goebel compared it to skiing, with a top speed of 12 mph.
You'd better have a short commute, however. This bad boy can only ride high for an hour before it needs to be recharged. That's about an 8-10 mile battery life.
Goebel says its energy efficiency and portability make it worth the buy. What do you think?