Segway Trying To Make Hoverboards Happen Again With $999 Scooter

It’s only been a little more than three months since hoverboards — a term that should not apply, as no hovering is involved — disappeared from Amazon after the Consumer Product Safety Commission determined that the self-stabilizing scooters were not unsafe unless they met certain standards. Now Segway, the company who tried to start the dorky standing scooter craze with its namesake device, is hoping to be the high-price future of the hoverboard market.

This morning, the company started taking pre-orders on Amazon for its new miniPRO Smart Self Balancing Personal Transporter with Mobile App Control, which is a very longwinded way of saying it’s a hoverboard, but with an app-based remote control (Why? We have no idea).

The miniPRO is, unlike all the boards removed from store shelves in February, compliant with the standards set by Underwriters Laboratories, so presumably it won’t burn down anyone’s house while it’s charging for the night.

Most of the hoverboards that shoppers clamored to buy — before clamoring to return them after hearing about the 62 known incidents of fire, and more than 7,000 emergency room visits from people who fell down and went boom — were produced by manufacturers that were largely unheard of in the U.S., and sold for significantly less than the $999 price tag Segway is putting on the miniPRO.

The company appears to be banking on its name recognition and the promise of a safer ride. The miniPRO, in addition to having the remote control aspect (again — why?) has a leg-operated steering stick. Push it with the inside of your legs to more accurately control the direction of the scooter.

As the AP reports, Segway contends this makes the miniPRO more of a personal transport device — something akin to a scaled-down version of the Segway scooter — instead of just a more expensive hoverboard. In fact, in those areas — such as New York City — where local governments have restricted or banned the use of hoverboards, Segway is planning to lobby to have the miniPRO exempted from those rules.

Other well-known names — like the folks at Razor — are planning to re-enter the hoverboard business in the coming months with devices that meet the new safety standards. Only time will tell if shoppers will run back to these misnamed scooters, or if the moment has passed.

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