them can be hard for us to imagine. In many cases, even today, owning
a car just doesn't make much sense for certain individuals. In the
city, travel by public transportation and foot (or bike) proves to be
the most simple and economical for a huge portion of the population.
Consider with me, if you will, a future without cars, in which urban
pedestrians roll around on fancy shoes. (No, I'm not talking about
kids on Heelys at the mall)
Aptly named, Peter Treadway has given us a glimpse of how thinks that
future might look. His submission to this year's James Dyson Awards
competition is called Treadway Mobility, and it aims to make those
walks from office to bus stop much easier (or more thrilling,
depending on what you're looking for). His invention is, quite simply,
a pair of platforms with powered wheels that will strap onto your
shoes and can be controlled remotely. They are intended to be ultra
portable, even compared to many of the compact scooters and
Segway-type personal transportation vehicles.
Peter has already demonstrated several functional concepts, but
refinements are still needed to make the device practical. The weight
of the steel frames on the first iterations would prohibit the
"skates" from being as portable as the designer would like. That
issue, and others will be addressed as the product is perfected.
Treadway even hopes to develop his rough, awkward looking concepts
into something "streamlined and fashionable". If his concept remains a
dream, Peter Treadway has a shot at a $15,000 prize if he is selected
as the winner of the Dyson contest, which ends in October.
Assuming he can turn it into something closer to a shoe than a roller
skate, Treadway Mobility just might catch on. The real challenge will
be fitting wheels, batteries, and motors in a device that can be worn
comfortably and somewhat concealed if necessary. Oh, and what happens
if someone gets a hold of your remote... while the platforms are still
strapped to your shoes? You may just find yourself scooting through
the open doors of the wrong subway train. Weeeeee!