Segway’s newest vehicle, the S-Pod, is still a pedestrian transporter, but now instead of standing, you’ll be able to sit in this egg-shaped, two-wheeled chair. Powered by the same gyroscopic self-balancing technology used in the original Segway, the S-Pod is controlled by a small joystick on the right side of the seat. It’s the modern equivalent of a litter, and no doubt you’ll be seeing them pop up on campuses, at airports and theme parks, and perhaps even in urban areas.
Segway admits that the S-Pod was inspired by the gyrosphere from “Jurassic World,” hence the egg shape. However, this transport isn’t completely enclosed and more closely resembles a futuristic throne—a very fast-moving throne. The S-Pod can reach a top speed of 24 miles per hour. The S-Pod, much like the original Segway, works on two wheels, though you can see three smaller wheels, which are presumably there to keep the S-Pod balanced and mobile when not in operation.
One thing that the S-Pod has going for it is that it has a very small learning curve. In a seated position, your balance is much better, which means that you can pick up handling the S-Pod much more quickly and with less difficulty. Driving the S-Pod is simple using the joystick. Pressing forward or backward will send you in either direction, while pointing to 10 or 11 will take you to the left and 1 or 2 will send you to the right. The back of the pod has lights that work as turn signals, and they can be customized with a tablet found in the left armrest. There’s also a horn.
The S-Pod is just one of the announced mobility options being offered by Segway-Ninebot in the upcoming year. The plan is to have the S-Pod debut sometime in the third quarter of 2020, with consumer sales happening in 2021. No word yet on pricing, but you can bet there will be plenty of people interested in rolling around on a mobile throne.