Monday, June 10, 2019

Scooter riders get a safe way to use their phones


Like many larger cities, mine has been invaded by electric scooters. There are hundreds of scooters available for rent in my area and once the weather turned nice, they became regular fixtures on downtown streets and in our tourist and entertainment districts.

And I'm okay with that. I believe in sharing the asphalt with bicycles, motorcycles, scooters or any other mobile machine that has the legal right to be there. I'll slow down and take extra care.

What does cause me some concern are those times when a scooter pilot decides that rolling down a busy city street is a good time to a take a selfie or shoot a video. I haven't yet witnessed a serious scooter accident but I've seen several close calls.

And that's why I'm telling you about Scooty, a new invention that could increase scooter safety while making scooter travel more fun and convenient. Scooty might even save some lives.

You can think of Scooty as a selfie stick designed specifically for scooters or bikes. It clamps onto a scooter's handlebars, leaving the driver's hands -- both of them -- free to safely guide the vehicle.

Scooty developer Ned Sahin said he was inspired to create the device after riding scooters in several major cities. He concluded that urban scooters are here to stay:

We see electronic scooters as not only commuting vehicles, but also as environment-friendly and fun tools to use for enjoying our free time by sightseeing and living the urban life fullest.

Sahin liked the convenience of urban scooters but he also wanted to have safe access to his phone while he was aboard.

The Scooty is an adjustable plastic stalk with a spring clamp on one end and a phone holder on the other. The clamp easily attaches to the handlebar of rental scooters like those used by Lime, Bird, Lyft and Razor.

The stalk can be adjusted to different heights and angles and the phone holder will rotate 360 degrees. The holder is large enough to accommodate supersized phones like the iPhone XS Max or Samsung's Note 9 in either portrait or landscape mode.

In addition to shooting photos and videos, Scooty users can access mapping programs, have hands-free phone conversations or listen to music or other audio content.

Scooty is currently raising $3,500 on Indiegogo for a summer product launch with shipping slated to start in August or September. Backers who contribute $17 can reserve an Early Bird Scooty for $17 compared to the post-launch price of $29.

For a closer look at Scooty, check the video below and the Indiegogo campaign page.


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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.


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