Smartphone Apps, Courtrooms to ride Skateboards

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Call it laziness or intelligence, automation has hit mankind so hard that humans are looking to automate every existing thing in the world. Today, driverless cars have become the most sought after technology for transportation. Yet, skates and skateboards still excite the newer generations. And the skateboards have evolved. Once, it was a fun sport; then it evolved to become a convenient mode of transportation for the short distance; and now with the arrival of automated skateboards – sometimes called hover boards when it flies a little above the ground – people are enjoying that added level of comfort with minimal physical activity.

Balance it out or click the button

A popular manufacturer is a Chinese company that brought out a smart skateboard called the Smart Balance Wheel. It is equipped with a forefront gyro technology that makes the ride smoother. All the user has to do is lean forwards, backwards or sideways to balance this hover board. But if you are even more of a technology geek, then simply pull out your Smartphone, install the app and control the hover board through it.

The CHIC patent story

Innovation and competition go hand in hand in China. With rest of the world trying to build one such hover board, China has seen multiple manufacturers entering the race in smart skateboard manufacturing – each trying to outsmart the other. Another noted manufacturer, CHIC (Hangzhou Chic Intelligent Technology), specializes in this two-wheeler automated vehicle. It launched similar hover board ‘CHIC SMART’ to capture the hover board market.

What makes CHIC different from Smart Balance Wheel in the market is that it has a patent to protect its invention. And it isn’t keeping it under wraps. A few months back, CHIC sued Razor USA LLC for alleged infringement of its design patent USD737,723 that discloses the ornamental design of a hover board. With Razor USA owning a fair share of patents in this industry, it wouldn’t be a surprise if it counter sues CHIC for patent infringement.

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With the working principle and the design of Smart Balance Wheel showing near exact similarities to CHIC’s, it may be sooner than later before Smart Balance Wheel lands into legal trouble.

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It wouldn’t be a surprise either if CHIC pulls the wheels of Smart Balance Wheel to court and shuts down its business. With the advent of more Chinese manufacturers in this space, CHIC might end up doing what Ericsson did to small Chinese manufacturers in the Smartphone space.

(Featured image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/135310117@N08/21717794393)

Bhargav Ram
Bhargav Ram

Bhargav is a mechanogeek who goes right down to the nucleus of every product - from rockets to tablets - to understand its mechanism and blog about it.


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