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A Hypothesis On Segway Hate

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the seg-fault dept.

Transportation 487

theodp writes "Admit it, IT is ingenious. Also, IT is surprisingly effective for certain uses, including real cops and mall cops. And if you tried IT, you probably smiled to yourself. So why all the Segway hate? Paul Graham looks into The Trouble with the Segway and offers a hypothesis about what prompts people to shout abuse at Segway riders: 'You look smug. You don't seem to be working hard enough.' Not that someone riding a motorcycle is working any harder, adds Graham, but because he's sitting astride it, he appears to be making an effort. When you're riding a Segway you're just standing there. Make a version that doesn't look so easy for the rider — perhaps resembling skateboards or bicycles — and Segway just might capture more of the market they hoped to reach."

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Slashdot hate (-1, Offtopic)

k10quaint (1344115) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924381)

I am not working hard enough for the first post, yet no Slashdot hate :)

Re:Slashdot hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924461)

No problem, ask, and it shall be given. / teh troll moderator.

Re:Slashdot hate (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924471)

"Too lazy to come up with a relevant answer, ya fucking homo." (before you mod this down rtfa [paulgraham.com] .)

Or maybe... (5, Insightful)

Misanthrope (49269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924383)

We just don't see the need for a personal transport device that costs too much for people who are perfectly capable of either walking or biking.

Re:Or maybe... (5, Insightful)

itsme1234 (199680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924437)

Apart from being insanely expensive you can't ride it legally in most places, neither on the sidewalk nor on the street. And, oh - did I mention expensive? Nah, it's not that, it's how it makes you look...

Re:Or maybe... (0)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924493)

Nah, it's not that, it's where it makes them look...

Fixed that for you.

Re:Or maybe... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924909)

Yeah - it's the price. I've ridden one on a tour in D.C. - it's an absolute blast... but I wouldn't shell out for one myself.

Oh - and another problem - they are too wide. On crowded city streets, you don't fit and you feel like a big bully pushing pedestrians out of the way for your lazy self.

Don't get me wrong - I love the concept and they are a blast to play with... but some more tweaking and market research needs to be done before they become the international phenomenon that the company was hoping for.
The only person I've ever seen to actually own one was a rich couple who bought a pair for their kids to play with on their estate... yeah... what happened to bikes, right?

Actually, very dangerous. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924957)

Segways seem dangerous to me. If the complicated computer control fails, or is overcome by the wheels hitting a low barrier, the rider hits the ground face first.

If a bicycle hits a low barrier, it has a chance of riding over it, because the front wheel is so big.

The Segway I rode had a label with a strong warning about danger.

Re:Or maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924441)

THIS!

And try this Segway suitability test: Family of 3, off to the supermarket for the weekly shop in the pouring rain....yeah, thought so.

Re:Or maybe... (3, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924451)

I bought an electric scooter to use on the journey to work, and then after using it a couple of times, realised I'd be a lot better off just walking so as to get some exercise (and it's the best decision I've made for a long time - even since I started driving to work again I have kept up with doing a bit of walking in the evenings and weekends).

Sure a scooter is pretty fast on flat terrain with, but seriously I don't see the use in such a cumbersome device for a cop or mall-cop. If they are chasing someone they are bound to have to get off the thing at some point, and then will be so unhealthy for having not walked anywhere for a year (exaggeration of course) that they won't be able to catch up..

Re:Or maybe... (1)

ysth (1368415) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924543)

All the mall ninjas I know wouldn't touch the things.

Re:Or maybe... (2, Interesting)

bhima (46039) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924559)

I bought an electric bicycle for much the same reason. As far as I am concerned it is the best way to get around within the small city I live in. My Ducati is too fast to comfortably drive within the city. Finding a parking space for my car is frequently a pain. The electric bike gets me into the city in minutes, it park anywhere and on all but the hottest of days I get where I am going without soaking myself in sweat... often in similar or less time than using my car. I'm using this experience to engineer an ultra-lightweight electric motorcycle for the city.

Down the street from me is a place which teaches kids gymnastics and unicycles... Watching them, I think an electric unicycle would be a blast!

Re:Or maybe... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924709)

Hmm yeah you could include a segway style balance device to make the thing a bit easier to balance.. have never tried a unicycle though, so I've no idea how awkward they would be to begin with. I think a crash helmet would definitely be in order for what would in essence be a 15mph bar-stool!

Re:Or maybe... (4, Interesting)

Plunky (929104) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924903)

have never tried a unicycle though, so I've no idea how awkward they would be to begin with. I think a crash helmet would definitely be in order for what would in essence be a 15mph bar-stool!

Its not easy to begin with but you don't really need to worry about banging your head, the natural movement as soon as you start to totter is to just step off onto your feet and I've never heard of falling to the ground. I think probably because your hands are not holding on (when you panic learning on a bicycle, your hands will grip tighter which is exactly the wrong thing to do as it focuses your weight above the centre of gravity :). Shin guards are definitely a good idea though..

I used to ride a unicycle a couple of miles to work and just pushed it under my desk when I got there. Going up hills is ridiculously easy (the steeper the better you can zip right past bicyclists) but going downhill can be hard on the legs unless you get good enough to freewheel (foot on tyre as brake). If you want to get good, get a smaller wheel and find a unicycle hockey group to join.. (20" is maneuverable but 26" would be better for commuting)

Re:Or maybe... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924571)

Lots of people have those old/fat-person-mobiles which are pretty expensive too. I don't care about the cost so much as the fact that they take up a lot of pavement and I have to get out of their way as they barge though.

In the UK you are not allowed to ride a bike on the pavement, so why should you be allowed an even more dangerous electric scooter or Segway?

Re:Or maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924785)

Legally this is a bit of a grey area, you can actually ride a cycle on the pavement so long as you demonstrate due care for pedestrians - its easier to not bother using the pavement for cycling at all, since one persons idea of due care will be very different to someone else's.

Re:Or maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924811)

Ack, ignore that.. Was getting confused between pavements and footpaths..

Re:Or maybe... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924855)

Lots of people have those old/fat-person-mobiles which are pretty expensive too.

Around here in the USA, these are covered by medical insurance (usually) or are covered/financed by specialist companies. The end user often doesn't pay nearly the full cost.

Also, unlike a Segway, these "old/fat-person-mobiles" are required if they wish to get around, for actual medical reasons. There are three reasons I can think of that would drive one to use a Segway:
1. Curiosity (rentals mostly)
2. Status (I have money! Look at me!)
3. Laziness (includes part of #2)

Bingo (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924573)

My objection to the Segway is that we already HAVE a two wheeled, gyroscopicly balanced transport device: It is called a bicycle. Works much better, and is better for you. In the event that the distances you are covering are too far for that, but you still want an efficient two wheeled transport, there's scooters and motorcycles. Even smallish ones can usually reach highway speeds.

I just don't see the point in the Segway, especially given the price. It can't go that fast, it can't go that far, so it isn't a replacement for a motorized transport. While it technically might be a replacement for a bike... Why? What's wrong with a bike?

Also the whole package seems kinda... well... stupid. Why all the effort to balance the thing on two, side by side wheels. Why not do as Maddox noted and add a third wheel (http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=segway_more_complicated_than_it_needs_to_be)? To me it seems like a tech demo, more than a useful thought in transportation.

Finally there is the point that a lot of Segway owners are, like the author of this, smug dickheads. They have this attitude of "Oh this thing is so amazing, and I feel so sorry for all you plebs who are uninitiated in to the glory of Segway." My response is "I feel sorry that you spent ten times what I did on my bike for something that goes half the speed."

Re:Bingo (5, Informative)

bkpark (1253468) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924619)

My objection to the Segway is that we already HAVE a two wheeled, gyroscopicly balanced transport device: It is called a bicycle. Works much better, and is better for you. In the event that the distances you are covering are too far for that, but you still want an efficient two wheeled transport, there's scooters and motorcycles. Even smallish ones can usually reach highway speeds.

Actually, a bicycle is not gyroscopically balanced [wikipedia.org] . The angular momentum in the bicycle wheel is tiny compared to the overall mass and moment of inertia of bicycle and the rider. It's actually the rider's own sense of balance (whether the hands are on the handle or not) that keeps the bicycle standing, and which is why you have to learn to ride one.

This isn't to say, of course, that Segways are superior just because they use a gyroscope.

Re:Bingo (2, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924887)

From the very article you link to - gyroscopic/centrifugal force does play a part.

Balance

A bike remains upright when it is steered so that the ground reaction forces exactly balance all the other internal and external forces it experiences, such as gravitational if leaning, inertial or centrifugal if in a turn, gyroscopic if being steered, and aerodynamic if in a crosswind. Steering may be supplied by a rider or, under certain circumstances, by the bike itself. This self-stability is generated by a combination of several effects that depend on the geometry, mass distribution, and forward speed of the bike. Tires, suspension, steering damping, and frame flex can also influence it, especially in motorcycles.

Re:Bingo (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924637)

The segway may work as a kind of a robot with a human in the loop. Its a bit like when you call a call centre drone. You are actually speaking to a machine which uses a human as a voice box. Maybe the segway will carry a human as a pair of eyes and voice box. But I won't buy one just to move around.

Re:Bingo (1)

gijoel (628142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924719)

Also it's just a pogo stick with wheels.

Re:Bingo (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924721)

Also the fact that they are so slow that they indeed can interact with pedestrian have the feeling of the noble who doesn't get down from horse to ask a puny peasant his direction.

Re:Or maybe... (5, Insightful)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924599)

Or it could just be a special case of a more general rule: people dislike other road-users, and especially other classes of road-users. Drivers, cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians all hate each other. Cyclists who use lights at night hate cyclists who don't because they're letting the side down. Cyclists who don't probably think those who do are stuck-up twits. Other subclasses (particularly taxi-, bus-, and lorry-drivers) also attract particular enmity. So why should Segway-riders expect to be different?

Re:Or maybe... (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924683)

Segways are sidewalk users, not road users.

Re:Or maybe... (2, Informative)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924789)

So are pedestrians. And some cyclists (whether legally or not varies by jurisdiction). They still end up crossing a lot of roads, unless they just go in circles.

Re:Or maybe... (2, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924639)

Exactly, it's the cost. If you got on a bike, wearing a clown outfit and held a huge wad of burning hundred dollar bills, the effect would be the same. If segways were only a few hundred dollars, it wouldn't look nearly as stupid.

Nothing to do with it looking like you're not working.

Not that someone riding a motorcycle is working any harder, adds Graham, but because he's sitting astride it, he appears to be making an effort

Right, because sitting looks so much harder than standing.

A better example would be if you saw someone riding one of those motor scooters designed for people with limited mobility, but then they parked it and walked away, with normal mobility. If you can picture that in your head, that's about as dignified as riding a segway looks to the rest of us.

That, and I bet the name rhyming with "gay" is too easy a target for some people.

and all my tax dollars gone to waste on it (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924805)

because the majority of "Segway is great stories" I saw were government fatties using it because they were "entitled" to one because of a disability, that being fat and lazy. When I saw the price and then saw the various government groups buying it I got the distinct impression that Segway = Hoveround 2.

The stories of Atlanta cops with them and postal workers showed only fat people. I don't mean a spare tire around the waste, I mean the Michelin man would be proud.

Throw in the all so egotistical hype surrounding it and the big let down when it appeared. Sorry, non-enclosed vehicles are useless for the majority of people; I have a motorcycle and I understand that while great fun and good for commuting it has serious limitations no enclosed vehicle has.

I'd buy one (4, Funny)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924385)

but the Magicians Alliance would never allow it.

Get off and walk, fattie (5, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924395)

The technology is pretty sweet, but really. If you can stand, you should be walking. If you can stand but can't walk, then okay. But how much of the population fits that profile?

It makes me think of the humans in Wall-E.

Re:Get off and walk, fattie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924609)

I'm willing to bet that most car drivers are able to both stand and walk. Why is the Segway any different in that respect?

Re:Get off and walk, fattie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924623)

because people seem to think that segways are only to be used for distances below 200 meter.

Anything above that can of course only be travelled by car.

I have a better solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924403)

They should attach a speaker that makes the sound of the Jetson's car as it moves around:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdWswvLPdE0 [youtube.com]

I'll be it would make everyone smile who is being passed by.

never understood the segway, (3, Insightful)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924411)

standing is a lot more fatiguing than walking actually...

Re:never understood the segway, (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924527)

I'll second that. An hour standing in a queue is far more tiring on the feet than a six mile (about 2 hour) walk.

Re:never understood the segway, (2, Funny)

kikan (22328) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924617)

I don't use a Segway, I do unicycling, even to go to work.

It's more fun ! Not really easy to learn, no really as efficient as a bicycle, quite a lot more tiring, but a lot of joy on each trip, and many smiles on pedestrian faces. And as both hand are free, I can read/hold an umbrella. And it's a kind of everyday-sport, better for health than just standing on the segway :-)

Wiki Link (0, Troll)

Zedrick (764028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924413)

For those of us who has never heard of Segway before:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segway [wikipedia.org]

I don't get why people would do that to themselves, I'd rather walk around with nothing but underwear and a trashbin over my head. But anyway.

Over-engineered (5, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924419)

There are few situations where a bicycle wouldn't be a better, cheaper, and more efficient option. The segway is cool, but it's a solution looking for a problem. It's over engineered, too expensive, and in the vast majority of situations offers no benefit over the alternatives.

Re:Over-engineered (1)

screamphilling (1173499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924553)

I can see 2 advantages. 1 being increased coverage area for those on security patrol in an area where a bicycle would pose a safety hazard.

2 being the police force's image of looking "high tech". This has nothing to do with usefulness. Some people just have to have the latest and greatest technology to feel legitimate to others... Do the majority of sheriff's officers really need to drive a Dodge Charger?

Re:Over-engineered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924769)

The main advantage to me seems to be the novelty. I'd love to rent one for a few days.

Re:Over-engineered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924803)

I can see 2 advantages. 1 being increased coverage area for those on security patrol in an area where a bicycle would pose a safety hazard.

I have hard time imagining that. I guess that it would be because bicycle takes so much more space. However, that implies areas with rough terrains, large crowds and so on. In such situations Segways are horrible option. They don't do well in off-road environment and if you need to jump off one... I don't think that leaving something very expensive and easily carriable unguarded is a wise idea.

2 being the police force's image of looking "high tech". This has nothing to do with usefulness. Some people just have to have the latest and greatest technology to feel legitimate to others... Do the majority of sheriff's officers really need to drive a Dodge Charger?

Besides, for that purpose, they look too stupid. It's not that they seem to "require too little work", it's just that they look stupid. Like toys. Because they are toys. And expensive ones at that. It is very difficult to use them for getting better imago.

Re:Over-engineered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924557)

Agree.

Walking, bike, motorbike, skates are cheaper, healthier & ready available.

Resenting people because they're standing? (4, Insightful)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924423)

No. I think most people resent Segway owners because they can _afford_ a multi-thousand dollar replacement that the rest of us poor suckers have to earn using the old left-foot->right-foot technique.

If Segway's had a reasonable cost that resentment would go away really quick.

In Las Vegas fat or lazy people can rent sit-n-go scooters to cart them around the casino because walking would be too much effort. And at that point, you're doing less work than someone standing and only slightly more work than someone sitting in a chair. It's popular because it's cheap, and people have absolutely no shame in using them if they're just lazy.

And interesting theory that there are deep psychological issues but way off the mark. They just cost too much. If they were $500 everyone would have one.

Re:Resenting people because they're standing? (2, Insightful)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924467)

Even if it were $500, would there be a big enough demand for one? Maybe in some areas. I can think of a few places. Perhaps college campuses where walking from point A to point B might take 20 minutes or more. Or large mall areas. But, in everyday use, who would need one, if simple walking and bicycling suffices?

Maybe if they could make one that could fly...

Re:Resenting people because they're standing? (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924603)

where walking from point A to point B might take 20 minutes or more.

bicycle!!

Re:Resenting people because they're standing? (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924727)

Bicycles aren't allowed in all places and times though.

Re:Resenting people because they're standing? (2, Insightful)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924791)

And segways are?

I'd be surprised if they're allowed in places where skateboards, bicycles and inline skates aren't...

Re:Resenting people because they're standing? (4, Insightful)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924611)

I don't think that's true at all.

I think it's to do with people riding them on pavements: they take up more room than a walker and if you collide with them they hurt.

People would (and do) react the same way to cyclists trying to ride on a crowded pavement.

Re:Resenting people because they're standing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924643)

No. I think most people resent Segway owners because they can _afford_ a multi-thousand dollar replacement that the rest of us poor suckers have to earn using the old left-foot->right-foot technique.

No way. I worked with a guy who had one. I could have afforded one too, if I felt like being a sorry sack of crap.

Bullshit (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924823)

No. I think most people resent Segway owners because they can _afford_ a multi-thousand dollar replacement that the rest of us poor suckers have to earn using the old left-foot->right-foot technique.

If Segway's had a reasonable cost that resentment would go away really quick.

Except we're on Slashdot, not on some inner city single black moms site. (No offense to those, just using them as an example of someone who actually has financial problems.) We have plenty of people here who were arguing against taxing incomes over 250k a year because it would personally affect them.

Trust me, there are plenty of us who could afford a Segway without problems. Not to brag, but I could buy one out of my day-to-day account at the moment, no need to even withdraw from the savings account or cancel any investments.

There also are a lot of us around who are into new gizmos and gadgets just because they're new gizmos and gadgets.

When the combination of the two tells you that they see no point in a Segway, then maybe, just maybe, and I know it might sound crazy, they just don't see the point of a Segway.

What for? It doesn't really go any faster than I can walk, it doesn't even go everywhere where I can walk, it's nowhere as maneuverable on a crowded sidewalk as walking (wake me up when it can just sidestep to get out of the way of someone running), it's extra effort to haul it to where it can be recharged after each trip (it can't go up or down stairs), it takes up space in your trunk if you want to drive anywhere and still use it there (it's not like you can just commute on it), etc. And most importantly, standing for long periods of time is actually less comfortable than walking.

Plus, you need _some_ movement or you'll get thrombosis sooner or later, and/or end up looking like a beached whale. So the few calories you save by just standing on it, it's calories you'll have to exercise to shed later. You haven't actually saved any effort, you just did the opposite of smart time management. Instead of profiting from that short walk to the groceries store to also get some minimal exercise out of it, you've just created the case for allocating more time for it later. It's a net loss.

In Las Vegas fat or lazy people can rent sit-n-go scooters to cart them around the casino because walking would be too much effort. And at that point, you're doing less work than someone standing and only slightly more work than someone sitting in a chair. It's popular because it's cheap, and people have absolutely no shame in using them if they're just lazy.

Yes, but it's sit-n-go. At least it's more comfortable than walking, if you're tired or lazy, whereas standing isn't. Do you understand that point? It doesn't even have that saving grace.

And interesting theory that there are deep psychological issues but way off the mark. They just cost too much. If they were $500 everyone would have one.

Or maybe the only ones with deep psychological problems are the twits who need to project them on everyone who isn't awed by their conspicuous consumption.

In fact, I suspect that if segways did cost only 500, they'd actually lose sales, because then those twits would need something else to say, "look at what I can afford."

like motorcycle riding? (4, Informative)

heitikender (655816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924433)

Obviously, author has never ridden a motorcycle - he has absolutely no idea, what it takes to ride such thing. On motorcycle, you have a throttle, first brake, rear brake, 6 gears and clutch. To ride it, you have to (ok, don't have to but would be good) understand counter-steering. And on IT? lean yourself and twist the stick. That's all. Pfffff.

Re:like motorcycle riding? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924547)

Slow speed turns. Bumps, pot holes, debris, ruts, grates, gravel, wet manhole covers and paint stripes. Avoiding FUCKING SUVS. Visual direction control. Lean angles, peg weighting, body english, counter-steer. Decreasing radius turns.

Balancing a one-in-front-of-the-other 2 wheeled vehicle traveling at over 70mph through rain, crosswinds and traffic without killing yourself isn't exactly *easy*. It's not really anything like a Segway, and I'm quite angered by this authors belittlement of something that I've spent a very large part of my life learning how to do well. I bet you half of the Segway riders can't even operate a clutch in the first place. He obviously has absolutely no fucking clue.

Re:like motorcycle riding? (3, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924659)

Perhaps, but I haven't ridden a motorbike either. I have no idea what the complexities are, yet would still give more respect for a motorcyclist than a segway user.

But I think my answer is the inability to perceive the utility of the thing. A motorcycle has speed. Even a very low powered scooter can do 30mph. The idea that people want to get from place to place considerably more quickly means I can see why you want one.

A 12.5mph Segway just doesn't seem fast enough to justify the cost. It gives the impression that the owner is a lazy rich guy. Maybe it's just envy, but it seems like a hell of a lot of money to spend to go a little bit faster.

"IT"? (4, Funny)

Shin-LaC (1333529) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924439)

What does this have to do with information technology?

Re:"IT"? (1)

garompeta (1068578) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924483)

What does this have to do with the clown?

Re:"IT"? (0, Offtopic)

vidnet (580068) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924521)

This is a reference to a South Park episode [wikipedia.org] about a (very) personal transportation device simply called "IT".

Re:"IT"? (1)

c-reus (852386) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924629)

... or perhaps it was called "IT" before it was given the name Segway. Check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segway [wikipedia.org] (however, it's marked as [citation needed] there). But I've heard it being called "IT" on radio (back in 2001).

Maybe if they could stand up to the hype .. (3, Informative)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924495)

For those who remember the marketing for the Segway, Segway was going to revolutionize human transport. There was even a cloud of secrecy around it, and for months nobody would even tell what this mistery product was.

The hype was just mind boggling and there is no way Segway wil ever come close to match all the promises that were made.

The Segway "FAIL" is just another example of the dangers of overhyping a product before it gets to the market.

Re:Maybe if they could stand up to the hype .. (4, Interesting)

qbast (1265706) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924583)

And now when it failed we have that idiotic attempt at astroturfing. Come one, "Segway hate"? It could only happen if someone actually used that thing.
Next on Slashdot: reports of overwhelming Zune hate. The reason that prompts people to shout abuse is "they look smug and cool and trendy. iPod crowd just can't stand it".

Re:Maybe if they could stand up to the hype .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924685)

Next on Slashdot: reports of overwhelming Zune hate. The reason that prompts people to shout abuse is "they look smug and cool and trendy. iPod crowd just can't stand it".

Harhar. Can you blame us? Look at the "Most Played Artists" on a Zune this week:

most played artists
This week
Plays

Michael Jackson 909,853

Linkin Park 796,564

Eminem 719,979

Nickelback 592,372

Metallica 515,419

http://social.zune.net/home.aspx?culture=en-us [zune.net]

Nice. It's social and cultural.

Ya there's that too (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28925015)

The more bold your claims, the bigger your amount of hype, the better a product you'd actually deliver. If you quietly roll out a product with little fanfare, well then if it is just ok, it'll probably just be ok. There's not likely to be any backlash or ill will, people didn't expect anything from it. They'll just kinda take it for what it is and buy it if they want it.

However, if you go promising the world, and in particular if you stir up a tizzy of speculation and media frenzy, don't be surprised if there is some major backlash when you don't deliver the heavens. People will get pissed when you get their expectations up and then smash them.

Well, with all the hype on Segway, the thing should have been just fucking amazing. I mean there were comments like "Well have to redesign the way we build cities!" Man, that had better be some bad ass form of personal transport like a jetpack or something. What? It is just some lame ass electric scooter? It is a $6000 lame ass electric scooter? Well screw you then, I am NOT impressed!

Segway-ers, rollerbladers, skaters, (4, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924497)

and sometimes cyclists and even bikers... I have the same problem with all of them: I usually walk because I'm in no rush and i want to (daydream) think deeply about life, the universe, and everything. These guys rush by on MY walkway, stirring me out of my reverie at least, sometimes forcing me to jump out of the way.

They are to walkways what SUVs are to streets.

Re:Segway-ers, rollerbladers, skaters, (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924667)

As a bike rider I agree. The problem is that bike riders are used as a medium of exchange when walkers and drivers conflict over land use. I cycle on the road but I currently have a badly broken arm to show for my troubles.

Re:Segway-ers, rollerbladers, skaters, (3, Interesting)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924829)

I think anyone who owns a dog or who has taken their kids out for a stroll in a carriage can relate to what you wrote.

The problem, I think, with rollerbladers and skaters is one of scale. If you're a normally functioning biped going about your business, someone travelling at speeds highly disproportionate to your own (or making a helluva lot more noise than you make as skateboarders do) can only be characterised (from your perspective) as somewhere between a danger and a threat.

Cars even more so. Walking your dog or and having cars drive by at 25-30 mph can be acceptable if there's a barrier, or enough distance separating you. Someone speeding by at 35-45 mph, on the other hand, will most likely elicit an extreme reaction from you. The guy in the car, of course, doesn't care and doesn't notice as he considers himself perfectly safe from you.

Segways typically don't speed, and they don't make a lot of noise, but they certainly share much in common with what we perceive as threats: something bigger than we are and something which is capable of moving faster than we move. Practically speaking that means they don't belong on the sidewalk, or anywhere people gather or walk normally. And because a slow-moving object on a roadway is also a threat, they certainly don't belong there. That essentially leaves them with nowhere that's appropriate.

Doesn't help that we tend to view mechanical devices generally with suspicion, and Segway owners specifically as oddballs. That's not to say that Segways themselves aren't interesting.

I don't hate it (4, Interesting)

JanneM (7445) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924499)

I don't hate it. I just don't see the point. It seems to try to fill a convenience gap somewhere between walking on one end and bicycles or scooters on the other. At least for me there's simply no gap there to fill.

Re:I don't hate it (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924741)

Think about people who walk for a living. Security guards and gofers.

IT (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924509)

Want some respect? Stop calling it "IT". That's a big part of the hate. The thing was WAY over-hyped as the "next big thing in transportation, going to revolutionize how we live".

And then police departments bought them en-mass when any old scooter would serve the purpose just as well for 1/3rd the cost.

Over-hyped, over-priced, and yes, it does make people seem lazy/pretentious.

The main reason I've seen for Segway hate (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924511)

The main reason I see that people dislike Segways is that on crowded streets, operators of Segways try to use the fact they are on a motorized vehicle and at a taller vantage point in order to force people out of their way. Its similar to being on a bike and bumping a pedestrian with the front tire so they see something bigger than themselves, which prompts an instant reflex of getting out of the way.

This is the exact same reason mounted police are excellent at crowd control, people tend to move out of the way for objects noticably taller than they are.

Ever park in a disabled spot? (4, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924523)

People shout abuse for that, too.

The Segway is a wheelchair for people who's only disability is extreme laziness. No wonder Americans are so goddamn fat.

Re:Ever park in a disabled spot? (1)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924653)

People shout abuse for that, too.

The Segway is a wheelchair for people who's only disability is extreme laziness. No wonder Americans are so goddamn fat.

Are you suggesting that parking a segway in a disabled spot would be the ultimate evil?

Re:Ever park in a disabled spot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924743)

Not unless you park it over the body of the disabled.

Re:Ever park in a disabled spot? (1)

eharvill (991859) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924753)

The Segway is a wheelchair for people who's only disability is extreme laziness. No wonder Americans are so goddamn fat.

Damn. That *must* be it! I could never figure out why there are fat Americans. I find it so amazing I *never* see fat people when I visit other countries. Must be the lack of Segways...

Re:Ever park in a disabled spot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28925005)

How many countries have "being morbidly obese" as one of their top stereotypes? I cannot think of one beside the USA ;)

Re:Ever park in a disabled spot? (2, Funny)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924867)

Parking is like sex. All the good slots are taken so occasionally, if nobody's looking, you stick it in a disabled one.

Re:Ever park in a disabled spot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924883)

Some disabled people who cannot walk far without pain are much benefited by the Segway. I'm sure no one would ridicule a disabled person riding one. Problem is, lots of healthy people seem to want to ride them too.

It's the law (3, Informative)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924579)

You can't use a motorized vehicle on the sidewalk in most places.

You're out of your mind if you drive one in the street.

So where exactly are you supposed to ride them?

Indoors in a crowded place it's just an accident waiting to happen.

As a practical matter they are just toys for the few who can afford them.

Re:It's the law (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924635)

So where exactly are you supposed to ride them?

Playing Segway Polo with Woz of course.

A lot of hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924595)

Do yourself a favor and try it yourself. I have yet to encounter a single person who didn't admit that a Segway is fun to ride. I don't own one, because I can't afford it, but if I could, I would. (I use my bicycle most of the time, so I'm not a particularly lazy person.)

Simply change stance (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924625)

Maybe if they could make ones for regular or goofy footed people.

Actually, to make it look harder, shorten the platform width so it makes you look like you're hanging ten all the time. Or maybe sell the segway with the balance mechanism disabled so you actually need some kind of talent to ride one.

How hard would it be to ride 2 segways simultaneously? one foot on each one, careful throttle negotiation.

It was all the blasted hype (3, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924663)

My dislike of the Segway stems from the ridiculous hype that was spread far and wide about the product before it actually came out. It was built up to be some fantastic device that would cure the common cold, end world hunger, prove the existence of life on Mars, get me the woman of my dreams, and just about anything else one could imagine. Then when it came out, it was nothing but a fancy-ass moped for rich people who were too lazy to walk.

Re:It was all the blasted hype (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924751)

get me the woman of my dreams

that sense of entitlement ...

Dune (1)

droidsURlooking4 (1543007) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924687)

I guess I'm just afraid of the inevitable obese people using it much like the other 'personal transportation devices' that already exist. You just have to yell at the top of your lungs, "Hey! Why don't you get off that thing and move your fat fucking ass?!"

Don't Believe The Hype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924729)

The segway had a bucket load of hype before it was announced. In my view, it's never lived up to that hype.
It's over-priced and unnecessary. I thought it looked at home in the Weird Al "White and Nerdy" clip :)

AC

The Segway is the worst of both worlds (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924739)

First of all, at the speeds it goes it only replaces bicycles. BUT.. you have to be standing, so it's not good for your knees. Also, because you are static (your legs are not moving, the kne3es aren't flexing), this is worse than walking, considering knee health.

At the same time, it has to be recharged, which a bicycle does not. And finally, it occupies a much broader length than a bicycle. It is also quite a bit heavier. These two facts (need for broader space on the sidewalk, and heavier) makes it more dangerous for other people on the sidewalk.

Basically, I see only cons and no pro to this device.

Segways are for cripples (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924747)

I'd rather walk thank you.

No disrespect to those people who genuinely *need* one.

Useless in the UK (1)

Yacoby (1295064) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924765)

In the UK, the segway is only legal on private land. You are not allowed to use a motorized vehicle on the pavement, but the segway hasn't met the requirements to drive on the road, namely the safety standards (Source [dft.gov.uk] ) In other words, it is totally useless.

If you want to get around a major city a folding bike is far better. You can take it on any means of transport and then ride when you get close to your destination. I guarentee that a folding bike and the tube will allow you to get round London far faster than a segway.

Why are these only for the "rich?" (0, Flamebait)

eharvill (991859) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924799)

I see a lot of comments stating how these are only for rich people, etc. I 've seen price tags in the $5000 - $10,000 range. How is this limited to rich people only? People pay prices like that for all sorts of items that are not considered necessities - TVs, computers, stereo systems, bicycles, motorcycles (when they already own a car), insert hobby of choice, etc. The list could go on.

I personally would not buy one, although I can afford one and I am definitely not rich by any stretch of the imagination. I think it's fine to hate them for whatever reason, but to hate them because only "rich" people use them so they can act smug and look down on other people is just plain silly in my opinion.

Re:Why are these only for the "rich?" (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924949)

There are computers, bikes, TVs and motorcycles available for a lot less than $5000. The ones that are above that are for rich people.

Why not build one yourself? (0, Redundant)

EddyPearson (901263) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924801)

For less than half the price!

http://tlb.org/scooter.html [tlb.org]

Segway Alternative: Elektor Wheelie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924827)

For some simpler vehicle, check out the Elektor Wheelie:

http://www.elektor.com/projects/elektorwheelie-demo-video.986893.lynkx
http://preview.tinyurl.com/elektorwheelie
http://preview.tinyurl.com/wheeliefaq

Indifference (1)

Rashdot (845549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924841)

Do you also have a "Hypothesis On Segway Indifference"?

Segway vs Motorcycle (1)

HetMes (1074585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924851)

I think another part of Segway hatred is the fact that by standing on it, you place yourself higher than pedestrians, the other sidewalk straight-up traffic participants. This may be a small psychological gesture telling them: You are beneath me. The motorcycle does not have this problem, also because it's not allowed on the sidewalk. A solution could be to treat the Segway as a bicycle.

Other reasons (1)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924857)

The police use them extensively in the downtown area where I live. I actually saw one pull over a car once. But, apart from being terribly expensive, one of my friends bought one. He'd ride it to work when the weather wasn't horrid, as well as around town on the weekends. He had a blast with it for about four months, until he hit that patch of mislaid pavers....

Double compound fracture. Ow. Thousands of dollars in medical bills, even after insurance. My curiosity completely evaporated. Much like my desire to buy a motorcycle dies every few months when I see one that's wiped out on the interstate.

They're huge (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924901)

They are completely humongous, and for all the space that they take up, provide absolutely no benefit. I'd rather have electric roller skates.

My hyptothesis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924955)

As Steve jobs told them during the initial phases, if you don't market it to people, people won't buy into it. Segway was launched and marketed as a geek toy, and the poplulation treated it as a geek toy.
First it was portrayed as a geek toy, and now.... it IS a geek toy.

If coca cola has been marketed as wonderdruk that turned you gay, it wouldn't even be a distant memory in the creators today, it would have died right. The seqway creators commited the basic mistake marketing, they put their product in the corner to be ignored, thinking that their enthusiasm alone would make it sell itself. Had they listned to their surroundings during the beggining, it could have been done right from the beggining, the current market image of a geeky toy is hard to shake, just as hard as making everyone who bikes to work to stop using "normal" bikes, and start using recumbent bikes instead.

What market problem does the Segway solve? (1)

jvin248 (1147821) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924985)

For a product to be successful it has to solve a big problem for someone, big enough to justify a price the consumer will pay. What problem has the Segway solved better or cheaper? Bikes and scooters solve the short distance mini transport problem quite well, cheaply, and durably.

The only other problem is more difficult - how to make it a fashion item with celebrity status. Like a high end purse or car or brand of coffee. Unleash a fleet of product designers at it to spiff it up with leather, chrome, and a strong V-8 rumble, place it in a few cool movies, get a few hot celebrities to take them to movie premiers "because look at how green they are", and soon a Segway will be an in thing.

Unacceptable on the sidewalk, stupid on the road (3, Insightful)

enrevanche (953125) | more than 5 years ago | (#28924999)

Because they were designed for use among pedestrians. When you are on foot you do not want these things anywhere near you. They are obnoxious and dangerous to a pedestrian.

They do not belong on the sidewalk and you would be an idiot to use them on the road. For them to ever become popular, cities would need a redesign.

They cannot be easily moved up or down stairs, they are not acceptable on an elevator unless it is a freight elevator, they are difficult to get in or out of a car, they cannot be brought on public transportation.

Segway hate?? Rather Segway admiration! (2, Interesting)

azhitsky (618606) | more than 5 years ago | (#28925007)

Recently my company rented Segway ride as entertainment for the team. We drove through parks at lakeside of Chicago downtown. People who saw us reacted very positively. Some would take photo of us and with us. I may add that the experience was somewhat philosophical: Segway enabled me to move without realizing how I control it, as if I was controlling it by pure will. A highly recommended novel experience!

You don't look smug ... (2, Interesting)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28925009)

... you look lazy and/or like you have no confidence in your own 2 legs, which can carry you at a much higher maximum speed (than 12.5 mph) if you are an individual of average build/health.

I don't know why they let cops who can't seem to run faster than 12.5 mph out on the streets at all.

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