2020 is the Year for Monowheel: A Hoverboard Upgrade
Posted on April 09 2020
2020 is the Year for Monowheel: A Hoverboard Upgrade
The Adoption of Hoverboard is Not by Accident
Hoverboard or 2-wheel self-balanced scooters were first introduced in 2001 by Segway. In 2015, hoverboard reached its popularity peak, selling millions and reaching every household. The adoption of technology took almost fourteen years, from the initial launch media hype to final worldwide adoption, supported by hundreds of brands and factories globally (https://www.wired.com/story/one-wheeled-vehicles-micromobility/).
Why does hoverboard take fourteen years to gain popularity? When Segway was introduced, its aim was to offer a ride for short commute. Segway was priced at ~USD 5,000 in 2010 and intended to change the way how people commute in last miles. During the first ten years of introduction, safety was the key issue that Segway had to ensure the public, as cases of crashes and injuries were reported. In 2010, Segway unfortunately experienced a significant loss when the Segway owner died from a crash while riding the Segway itself (https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/30/tech/segway-history/index.html).
In 2012, Shane Chen, a mobility inventor, came up with a similar concept product called Hovertrax, and filed the patent. Contrary to Segway’s inventor who intended to change the way how people commute in last miles, Shane Chen’s interest was merely about bringing fun and innovative mobility through inventing a series of fun and innovative products: Orbitwheel Skates, UltraDrainer, Lunicycle, Solowheel and Hovertrax (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shane_Chen).
Hovertrax was first introduced at a thousand dollars price point, which is a fraction of what Segway offered back in 2013. Performance wise, Hovertrax does not match with what Segway was offering in terms of speed, range, road condition handling. However, because Hovertrax is slow, it is only used on flat ground surface for a fun ride. It, then, became a safe, fun, and cool alternative or as a toy that had gained popularity in the teenage market. The growth of Hovertrax started to take place when the price started to drop from a thousand dollars price point to roughly three hundred dollars by 2015, which was the year of peak sales of hoverboard products, whereby almost every kid owned one globally.
Simply put, the adoption of hoverboard did not happen by accident. It is basically the same formula that Palm, iPod, and iPhone applied wherein they started to twist the adoption curve by bringing the right product that fits in the right market at the right timeline, most often by defeaturing and deliver the features that are most demanded.
Monowheel Electric Skateboard is a More Fun and Cool Choice than Hoverboard
One of the Segway expired patents that was filed back in 1999 depicted most imaginary concepts of self-balanced mobility products were. Among them were Solowheel, hoverboard, and monowheel self-balanced boards, as illustrated in the picture. Solowheel and Hoverboard had then gained its popularity, reaching millions of shipments, by 2010
It is, however, of utmost importance to note that monowheel electricskateboard is just at the beginning of its introduction. Hoverboard technology, Onewheel, and Surfwheel were all launched between 2013 and 2014, two years later compared to Hovertrax. Hoverboard (or Hovertrax) riding style is similar to skiing while monowheel riding style is similar to snowboarding. As a general saying, “skiing is easier to learn but harder to master - whereas snowboarding is harder to learn but easier to master” (https://www.snowskool.com/blog/skiing-or-snowboarding-for-beginners-which-is-easier-to-learn). The longer learning time required when riding monowheel is one of the key reasons why the adoption took a longer time, similar to snowboarding (or surfing). In general, it is just a matter of time for the number of riders in monowheel to be as many as hoverboard and solowheel. In addition, the riders of monowheel would believe that it is much more fun, cool, and safer to ride than hoverboard, applying the same logic between snowboarding and skiing.
Monewheel Could be the Hoverboard Upgrade in 2020
The 3 manufacturers of monowheel take different approaches on their product offerings and introductions. Hoverboard technology launched GeoBlade 500 at price point of ~USD1500. Onewheel recently launched Onewheel Pint at a price of a thousand dollars. Meanwhile, Surfwheel launched products at price range of USD299-399, with lower performance specs, but a safer and modern design.
As history repeats itself, skateboarding gained its popularity later than skiing and at the right product market fit, while the hoverboard took off and sold million pieces. The consumers continue to demand more fun, cool, and innovative in the field of mobility. As the hoverboard market has been out of innovation in the past 3 years, consumers are expecting for more alternatives. As a result, the wide adoption of monowheel electric skateboard could be happening in 2020 as a choice of upgrading kids’ hoverboards.
Surfwheel is introduced with the mission of bringing safe, cool, and fun ride. Surfwheel SU is equipped with patented drifting tire and safety wheels. The tire shape design and software algorithm are catered to mimic the movement of surfing on land.
Seriously, It's Time to Lean Into Monowheels, Boone Ashworth, Jan 17, 2020
Surfwheel SU Electric Skateboard: Skateboard Today, VR Tomorrow, Christopher Coke, December 15, 2019