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Wheelchair + Segway Technology = Zooooooooooom

Adaptive technology. Changing the way one piece of very cool technology becomes adapted to another need and filling a specific technological vacuum.

We’ve been watching the storyline of Bones, the fabulous tv show (lately featuring major hottie Gil Darnell, but we digress). So this season, there’s Hodges sitting in this old fashioned clunker of a wheelchair and we’re thinking WTF haven’t they, you know, the most advanced (on TV anyway) science lab on the planet, put Hodges in THIS?

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Look at this. See this. Appreciate this.

The ¿Ogo¿ (pictured) is claimed to be the only ¿completely hands-free two-wheeled self-balancing transportation device in the world¿ and is intended to give wheelchair-bound users more freedomIf humans can put a man on the moon and Tony Hawk on a hoverboard, then we’ve certainly got the capability to upgrade wheelchairs. There’s a hell of a lot of potential out there but still not much innovation.  That’s exactly why one man from New Zealand, after seeing his ‘mate’ struggling to perform simple tasks on his old chair, took matters into his own hands. After years of development and an ingenuous reconstruction of a Segway, Kevin Halsall unveiled the Ogo—a souped-up wheelchair fit for Hodges, don’t you think?

Even more so, the Producers, writers and actors on Bones (@David_Boreanaz) could write in some fabulous sub-plots about differently-abled technologies that need awareness, promotion and investment. They could be working to inspire inventors and creators and most of all, the deep pockets investors to do some good with all their hard-earned cash, as the 12th and final season goes into production.

The painting Judith Beheading Holofernes at its presentation in Paris. It may have been painted by Caravaggio (1571-1610) and could be worth €120m.Imagine the world’s wealthy…. instead of buying a lost Caravaggio for 120 million bucks, that they  invest 10 million into THIS technology.

We first saw this type of ‘wheelchair’ in use by a client at a Paris department store. The lady was whizzing through narrow aisles, pausing, stopping, turning, I literally followed the  woman around the store, so stunned and impressed was I. Wheelchair stalker, sorry. Technology hunter, really. What’s maddening though, is that this technology isn’t breaking down doors. The Ogo is still in the development and funding stages, and in general, big Tech is just not seeing the potential of this technology.

Genny carrozzina autobilanciante Base segway conceptWe’ve come across several different models of this chair, created by different companies and people, and they’re all compelling. Another great example is the Genny Mobility device, again partnered with Segway technology. It’s more commercially available in the EU as it comes out of Italy, but they’re murky on pricing and availability.

There’s another version called Segfree,  literally a seated SEGFREE - Seated Wheelchair SegwaySegway, which almost looks clunky by comparison, but it’s certainly more affordable than the others at this point, costing about 6000 bucks, and comes out of South Africa. The other models are in the 25,000 – 30,000 range, but considering people happily spend that amount on a new car, maybe I’m crazy, but that’s not bad. With more investment, the price will come down.

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