Archive for August, 2011

Segway Brush-in-Bottle Touch-Up Paint / Service Outage Alert

NEW PRODUCT: Segway New Zealand will shortly offer Segway Brush-in-Bottle Touch-Up Paint for sale ($35). Available in White, Black, and Silver these paints have been carefully matched to Segway i2 and x2 factory colors (however i2 Metallic Sage cannot be offered due to paint variances). With the bush applicator as part of the screw cap, this Touch-Up Paint is easy to apply and can bring that “factory new” look back to much-loved PTs.

We can also touch up areas on your PT ($15) whenever you bring it to our service centre, or when we visit your business or home to provide any on-site servicing.

SERVICE OUTAGE ALERT due to Hurricane Irene

Segway, Inc.’s head office is located in New Hampshire, and the company announced today it is taking unprecedented precautions in advance of a severe storm that is about to hit the East Coast of USA:

In anticipation of Hurricane Irene, Segway deems it necessary to shut down our servers in order to protect the integrity of our systems from power surges or other storm related disturbances. At 8:00 PM EST this Saturday, August 27th Segway will shutdown ALL servers. The servers will be turned back on Monday once the storm has passed.

Segway New Zealand operates equipment that relies upon Segway, Inc.’s servers to function. During this outage period we will be unable to analyse error codes, create InfoKeys, service Gen 1 PowerBases (except to replace CBSs), and will not be able to place orders with Segway, Inc. We expect to offer full service again from Tuesday 30 August 2011 (NZ time). The segway.com website will not be affected, nor will our communications with the Singapore Segway Service Centre.

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Justin Bieber really loves his Segway PTs – a tipping point in the evolution of attitudes towards Segway PTs

People who champion a great new idea tend to over-estimate how quickly they can bring about change in the short term, and everyone else tends to under-estimate just how significant this change will be in the long term. Sociologists and economists graph this in the shape of an “S” curve, and this News article explores how US pop star Justin Bieber is riding his Segway PT along this curve, and how everyone else is going to be following him sooner than they think.

Justin Bieber and his band just can’t keep off their Segway PTs, according to media reports. For example, the musicians can be seen gliding around back-stage during a recent world tour in this footage from the Extended version of the Never Say Never movie – destined to find its way into many homes with teenagers. Last year a video of Bieber being chased by fans as he tries to escape on his PT “went viral” and became one of the most-watched YouTube clips of the year. Shortly after Whoopie Goldberg was staging a “Segway Race” between the young star and Elizabeth Hasselbeth around the set of her talk-show – we’ve linked to both clips at the end of a previous News article about a much more serious endeavour.

Kylie Jenner from The Kardashians and friends on Segway PTs out and about in Hollywood

Bieber is just one of many young stars who are being seen out and about enjoying life on their Segway PTs. This illustrates an important cultural shift about how the Segway PT is being perceived. While there is still a small but vocal core of (mostly) older people who still don’t “get” the Segway PT (it is apparent in the language of the first article linked to above, for example), it is Segway New Zealand’s experience that just about every young person in the country intrinsically thinks the Segway PT is “cool.” For them, they know they’ll be using Segway PTs as a part of their daily lives in their own futures, just as Bieber uses one today. And that going places on a Segway PT is a lot more attractive than taking the bus.

When mobile phones appeared in New Zealand in the late-80’s, early adopters where first stared at, then jeered at by many. Hearing passers-by yelling “Yuppy!” was just the least-rude of the phrases commonly used. Yet today just about everyone – including those very people who used to do the name calling – has a mobile phone. In fact, many people have two.

It is not the phone that has changed over time, but the attitudes held by people.

Think about just how quickly this has happened. Michael Douglas’ character Gordon Gecko in the movie Wall Street discovered the world he had known has changed significantly by the time he emerged from jail in Wall Street II, 20 years later.

We still use a mobile phone to make calls in the exact same way we did 20 years ago. We still send text messages in the exact the same way we were since the first Bellsouth (now Vodafone) 2G network was launched in New Zealand in the early 1990s. It took somewhere between 10 and 15 years for the mobile phone to become “normalised” in the wider public mind, with many older people being the slowest to adopt. Tradesmen and small business owners of all ages were particularly strong early adopters in this country.

In 2011, in the minds of people under 30 there have always been mobile phones, just as there have always be Segway PTs for todays teenagers.

Segway New Zealand is seeing the same transition occur that occurred about attitudes towards mobile phones already occurring towards the Segway PT. Many early PT owners remember being stared at, and even jeered at by some (in the writers experience whenever someone yelled “Geek!” or “Lazy!” it seemed to reveal quite a lot about the yeller’s own insecurities).

Today the jeers are long gone, and in New Zealand’s larger cities it is not unusual to see several Segway PTs glide by every day: mobility impaired persons enjoying life with far more freedom than a mobility scooter ever offered, commuters leaving cars behind and escaping cramped and inconvenient public transport, officers on patrol enhancing public safety, fast food and documents being delivered door-to-door, and tourists enjoying our unique sights.

Again, as with mobile phones, trades and small businesses have been strong early adopters of Segway PTs in their bid to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and deliver better services to their customers.

The Segway PT does today exactly what it did when first launched almost a decade ago. The Segway PT hasn’t changed, but the minds of people have. Our observation is this transition is happening surprisingly quickly. And we’re not surprised about this at all.

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Red Cross Segway PTs outperform ambulances and motorbikes

A fleet of Emergency Service Segways will be put into action in Austria after they outperformed ambulances and motorbikes in trials, reports the UK’s Daily Mail.

Vienna started trialling Segway PTs last year and found they were ideal for weaving through traffic and reaching patients in the city centre quickly.

‘The Segway could get to people that needed medical help much more effectively than anything else we’ve seen so far,’ said Red Cross spokesman Andreas Zenker. “And you can fit them with all the things you would need for most first aid operations including a heart defibrillator”

Equipped with sirens and flashing blue lights, Segway PTs are perfect for reaching stricken patients struck in traffic jams or busy shopping centres, according to city officials. A Red Cross spokesman in Vienna, Austria, said: ‘They go places that conventional vehicles could never reach.’

He added that they had been especially useful in shopping precincts at Xmas and marathons in the Austrian cities of Vienna and Linz where pavements and roads were lined with supporters.

‘The Segway could get to people that needed medical help much more effectively than anything else we’ve seen so far’ he said.

Here in New Zealand, Auckland’s St John were the first emergency response service in the Southern Hemisphere to purchase Segway PTs. Their pair of Segway i170’s have been in attendance at marathons, rock concerts and other public events since 2005. Last year Ambulance EMT added a Segway PT to their fleet of vehicles, and their red i180 can often be seen at public events throughout the North Island.

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On-the-go, through-the-snow in Queenstown

Segway On Q is the Southern Hemisphere’s longest-established Segway Tour business, and consistently rated one of Queenstown’s top rated activities – year after year.

When Kevin & Jo Hey launched their business in 2006 there were very few Segway Tours operating outside USA. Since then, taking in the sights on a Segway Personal Transporter (PT) has become an activity that is sought out by tourists in both New Zealand and around the world.

Exploring a new place on a Segway Guided Tour enables you to see more in less time. Oftentimes travellers miss out on seeing all there is to see because they are tired or because they can’t keep up with their more active companions. But on Segway PTs everyone gets the most out of their limited time on their visit…..in any weather and in any conditions!

As New Zealand recovers from a “once-in-a-lifetime” cold snap, see Segway On Q’s Facebook page to view a video of a Segway i2 fitted with snow tyres plough through inches of fresh snow with ease. Watch how these tyres offer plenty of grip, and keep the safe, stable platform of the Segway PT upright and mobile as Kevin demonstrates the capabilities of this remarkable machine.

Segway New Zealand offers these IRC Snow Tyres as an alternative to the standard i2 tyre, and recommends it for tour operators, security patrols and most delivery roles. They also enable adventurous private owners take their i2 further into extreme conditions…..and have even more fun as they explore the world on their Segway PT.

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