As a polite, never rebellious teenager, you probably never wanted to get away from the rest of your family… but when did, you put your angst-ridden, hormonal-imbalanced body to good use by participating in an edifying hobby of your choice, right? Seeking solace through painting or songwriting. Others (like myself) found it through skateboarding.
With the wind in your hair as you go downhill and nothing but gravity to keep you strapped to your board, the adrenaline rush skateboarding provides is an escape and also a challenge, as you repeatedly attempt that fakie 360 flip body varial. There’s something to be said for ditching your problems in the persistence skatebaording imbues and the sense of safety a helmet doesn’t provide.
But… times are changing. Kids just don’t want to indulge in a sport that could easily paralyze them for life. That’s why the people at WALNUTT and Arrow Electronics are looking for a safer alternative.
SPECTRA, the fruit of all their hard work, is a series of smart electric skateboards allowing you to experience the wonderful world of skateboarding with a lower risk of breaking your neck. How do they do it? Artificial Intelligence.
That’s right. Artificial Intelligence is coming to the skateboard. Controlled by a 3D Posture Control System, the board doesn’t move in any direction you don’t want it to. By applying pressure in your desired direction, SPECTRA adjusts itself to any incline or turn you put it through. According to WALNUTT, the board even learns your body movements and adjusts itself to your riding style, giving you a personalized experience unlike any other rider.
To add to its control system, the SPECTRA boasts some of the safest features you would ever find in a 17-inch length of rolling plastic. Its MagBrakes can shorten your braking distance by 47% and kick in whenever the board detects you’re off-balance or when you hop off. Instead of abruptly stopping and ejecting you like a sentient smart car, the SPECTRA starts slowing down to prevent your face from kissing asphalt.
Even nighttime skating is made easier, thanks to the built-in LED indicators on the front and back. Apart from ensuring you don’t become roadkill, the lights also serve to show how much charge is left in your battery, which can run up to 90 minutes on a single charge at 15.5 miles per hour. That’s not really fast considering a traditional skateboard can outrun a car, but keep in mind that this is a skateboard made for the occasional skater who wants an easier commute–the SPECTRA isn’t made for the likes of Tony Hawk.
That doesn’t mean to say you can’t meet like-minded boarders. With the WALNUTT eBoard Go App, you can share your everyday routes, find shortcuts other people have stumbled onto, and even control your own SPECTRA remotely with your Android phone. God only knows why you would prefer this over operating the board with your own two feet, but if you want to have some fun with your friends while they’re riding it, then the option is there.
There are four models available, but no matter which version you choose, each SPECTRA board is compact, intuitive, and sure to get you home after a long day of school or work, even if the battery runs out. (You’ll want to use it often too, considering the cheapest board starts at $319 USD).
People seem attracted to the idea though. The product has already exceeded its IndieGoGo goal by 1044% with pre-purchase pledges available for each model and a commuter backpack of skateboarding accessories with a delivery of January 2018. If you’re having second thoughts about the future of electric skateboards, head over to WALNUTT’s official webpage and see it for yourself.