Looks like Kickstarter has gone and done it again. Due in September, and already having raised the financial necessaries, here come Acton R Rocket skates. They are electric, motorized skates. You simply strap on the Acton R Skates on over your shoes and—Zoom!— off you go! They’re not the kind of rocket-powered roller skates used by Billy Binns, a kind of English science fictional geek, in the Beano comic book, although they actually do seem to be a motorized version of what was originally vaguely naturally nuclear in D.C. Comics’ The Flash.
At any rate, ACTON Global, whose headquarters are located in, Southern California, kicked off their Kickstarter fundraising campaign on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, at the Wearable Technologies Conference in San Francisco. ACTON’s Co-founder Peter Treadway demonstrated a prototype of the 7lb RocketSkates on the show floor at the conference. You lean forward to go faster, lean back to slow down, and keep track of your skating prowess and battery life using an iOS app. Brakes on the back of each skate keep your feet from getting ahead of the rest of your body and also prevent you from landing flat on your back (at least theoretically). Just be sure to keep one foot slightly ahead of the other because attempting to strut with your feet side by side could cause you to do the involuntary splits.
How do they work, you’re wondering? Essentially, each skate carries two hub motors, each of which is controlled by an on-board microprocessor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. The skates communicate with each other so they maintain the same speed and behavior. The dual-wheeled RocketSkates strap to either side of your shoes and can move over the pavement at speeds of up to 12 miles per hour. Depending on the model, they can run for up to 90 minutes, and they take about the same amount of time to recharge. If you’re tired you can even let each skate’s two hub motors do the actual work. Just tip your tootsies back so that only the rubber wheels touch the ground. And if you need to go upstairs to the bathroom, you simply tip forward and move along on the balls of your feet.
Although it’s recommended that you do your skating with both of your hands free, having a friend close by to connect via smartphone talking to you through hands-free earphones via the ACTON App is an interesting option. Slowly, as you get it together, you’ll be able to steadily monitor your skating style and performance. With the help of a friend, route tracking, style diagnosis, the amount of juice in your batteries and even social interaction with other skaters.
Kickstarter was originally seeking $50,000. But with $449, 207 raised by Thursday, August 14, 2014, and only eight days to go until the cut-off day of Friday, August 22, your possible investment window is narrowing. Indeed, unless you want to invest the full amount into a pair of skates, smaller investments will most likely not return anything close to a worthwhile profit. Go to Acton’s site, however, and you may be interested in their upcoming M Scooter. The next trendy thing, they think!
If successful, these RocketSkates will be available in three versions featuring different-sized batteries. The Rocket-Red-Colored R-6, which feature a range of 6 miles (45 minutes) and cost $499. The Terminator- Chrome R-8 (8 miles, 70 minutes, $599). And the Deep-Space-Black R-10 (10 miles, 90 minutes, $699).