The Segway was introduced in December 2001 as a new mode of transportation that promised to revolutionize the way we move around cities. It was touted as a solution to urban congestion, pollution, and the need for more sustainable transportation. However, it did not live up to the hype, and its impact on the world has been limited. Let’s take a closer look at the history of the Segway and the predictions that were made about its potential impact.
The Segway was the brainchild of inventor Dean Kamen, who envisioned a world where people would use his device to get around in a more efficient and environmentally-friendly way. He was quoted in a 2001 Forbes article saying, “We think it’s going to be as big a deal as the PC.” He also predicted that the Segway would have a significant impact on the transportation industry, saying, “We think we can have the same kind of impact on the automobile that the cellular phone had on the wired phone.”
Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple, was also a big believer in the Segway. In a 2003 interview with Newsweek, he said, “It’s like a very seductive mistress. You’re just drawn to it.” He went on to say that he believed the Segway would have a major impact on cities, stating, “It will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy.”
However, not everyone was convinced that the Segway was the game-changer it was touted to be. In a 2003 New Yorker article, Malcolm Gladwell wrote, “The Segway is not going to be the vehicle that changes the world.” He went on to say that the Segway’s potential impact was limited because it was too expensive and too difficult to use in certain environments.
Today, the Segway has not lived up to the expectations that were placed upon it. It never became the widespread mode of transportation that its inventors and supporters predicted, and it is now primarily used in niche applications such as security patrols and guided tours. Despite this, the Segway has left a lasting legacy as a symbol of innovation and a reminder of the limits of technological progress.
In conclusion, while the Segway was predicted by some to be a revolutionary invention that would change the world, its impact has been relatively minor. The Segway remains an interesting footnote in the history of transportation and innovation, but it did not live up to the hype that surrounded it in its early years.