Emerging Worlds of Rideable Tech

Science and enterprise may look forward, but there’s room in the world for the old-fashioned. People like Elon Musk are pushing fancy new electric vehicles, but there are still people who prefer to use bicycles and skateboards and the like. Whether for transportation, exercise, or just plain fun, these vehicles haven’t been overlooked by the progress of technology, and new life has been breathed into them.

Bicycles have been around since the 19th century and have more or less remained the same. A cyclist sits on a frame and uses pedals to propel the two-wheeled vehicle forward. Handlebars on the front help to steer and a metal (usually) frame holds it all together. Why would someone mess with this tried and true formula?

To answer this question, we can look to the Consumer Electronics Show, the latest of which concluded earlier this month. The LeEco Super Bike is a bicycle that runs on the Android operating system. The bike comes with a touch screen on the handlebars that acts like a fitbit. It can track your speed and distance. You can also use GPS in real time and even listen to music on this bike. As a bonus feature, the Super Bike also emits lasers to give you your own personal bike lane. It comes in two varieties: a city and a mountain version.

Electronic shifting may be the next big trend in bicycle technology. If you’re not quite ready for a smart bike, more and more bicycles are being outfitted with electronic gear shifts, and they are growing quite popular. Used more and more by professional cyclists, electronic gear shifters employ wifi to change the gears on a bike instead of the old-fashioned wire system. This gives more control, accuracy, and speed, thus delivering an overall better ride.

If you’re looking for something a little bit different, skateboards are also getting an upgrade. Skateboard culture has always been associated with the young, so it seems natural that new and hip tech would find a place here. The Geoblade Hoverboard is a skateboard unlike any other. Instead of four small wheels that provide movement, the Geoblade Hoverboard has one large wheel in the center of the board. The wheel is motorized and the Hoverboard can reach speeds up to 16 miles per hour. Hoverboards have been growing in popularity over the past year, but the Geoblade boasts that it’s more reliable and safer than the traditional hoverboard (the fact that there even is a “traditional” hoverboard indicates that we are living more in the future than we realize).

Bicycles are practical and skateboards are cool, but if you’re looking for something completely engrossed in novelty, why not luggage? The Modobag is luggage that you can ride. It looks and acts just like a regular rolling travel bag. You can use it to store your stuff when you travel. But instead of pulling it around the airport, the Modobag can be ridden. It comes with motorized wheels and pull out handlebars for steering. It can reach speeds up to 8 miles an hour and is also TSA compliant. The Modobag is available to buy for about $1,100. It’s a steep price, but the image of zipping around LaGuardia like it’s a level in Mario Kart is worth any price.

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