The SPECTRA skateboard bill’s itself as the only truly portable skateboard that is totally hands-free. With its built-in AI, Forbes has touted the board as the first AI-enabled skateboard in the world. But how does this fun toy really measure up?
First, the specs. SPECTRA lets novices and experts navigate the world hands-free and fast. It contains what the company calls 3D-Step. This makes navigating a snap. Moving forward will accelerate the movement, while leaning back will slow the eboard down. There’s a “turning assistant” that helps those uncomfortable with boards make swift turns. It contains two speed hub motors to make it an efficient experience.
The skateboard is in many ways made for joyriding or commuting, not tricks. However, it can handle a 27% incline with a power-up, and easily and safely navigating down, thanks to the downhill auto speed control.
The skateboard is also designed with safety in mind. its MAGBrake is described as “harness accurate, sensitive and reliable.” According to the company, the SPECTRA is the only skateboard in the world that uses the smallest ABS breaking module, which shortens the braking distance by 47%. If the skateboard senses that it is riderless or unstable conditions, the brake will engage.
All four models of the SPECTRA are equipped with LED lights for added safety at night. The board comes with an app that lets you connect to other writers, and which also lets people share riding paths. Although it also comes with a nifty remote control, there seems to be no real reason for a skateboard to have this function, other than for fun demonstrations.
That said, the SPECTRA is highly portable, and fits neatly into a special backpack, which you will need to take care of such a pricey piece of equipment. The top-line SPECTRA, the Pro, tops out at $1,888 (but is on sale now for the low price of $599). The SPECTRA Advanced is normally priced at $788, but is on sale for $459. There are also SPECTRA minis and mini-plus.
SPECTRA has recently introduced a customizable model, the SPECTRA Silver. In addition to all the other bells and whistles, the silver contains the following functions:
· All-powerful 4WD with world’s first 3D Posture Control System
· 23mph Top speed and ～20 miles range
· All wheel brake power by regenerative hub motors
The SPECTRA runs on a charged battery. When the battery is drained, it is still ridable manually, just like an old fashioned skateboard.
So who is the SPECTRA really for? It’s design team, Walnut Tech, is in San Francisco and Hong Kong, both cities with high population density that can be a real pain to navigate by car. According to its website, “Walnut Technology has its core members from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the University of California, Berkeley.” With this experience, it’s clear that Walnut hopes to pitch SPECTRA at the growing urban commuter sect. For people who live blocks or a few short miles from work, SPECTRA could be a fun alternative to biking and walking.
SPECTRA launched on Indiegogo in 2017 and navigated its run to market well. At CES 2019, it unveiled a bigger skateboard, the X, which is meant for sharing.
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