With rising gas prices, scarce parking spaces and cuts to public transportation, traditional transit options are losing their luster. Luckily, innovators across the globe are filling the mobility void by harnessing electric power in very unusual vessels. Goodbye cars--your future morning commute will be atop motorized sneakers, boards and hammocks.
Rollerblades are finally getting a 21st century update. Mounted on any shoe, spnKiX transform the wearer into a very slow human rocket. Looking a bit like Professor X's wheelchairs, the battery-powered skates can reach 10 mph speeds under the control of a handheld remote. Unfortunately, their juice runs out in three miles, but improvements to longevity are sure to come if the trend catches on. Since eliminating walking altogether is a true American value, the prognosis is good. You can order the speedy augmentations for $399-$699.
2. Electric Longboard
This amped up skateboard is a perfect solution for Seattle hills. Boosted Boards combine the maneuverability and stability of a regular longboard with 2000W of electric power. A handheld, wireless controller sets the speed, allowing the rider to whiz by deadlocked traffic at 20 miles an hour. When the power runs out--or Cinderella's clock strikes midnight--the machine reverts to a regular 12lb board, to be ridden or carried accordingly. The project was received exceptionally well on Kickstarter and can now be pre-ordered for $1,299.
3. Luggage Scooter
On the business end of mobile novelties, frequent fliers will appreciate this luggage scooter contraption. Small enough to meet carry-on size requirements, but strong enough to support the weight of an adult rider, this suitcase is ideal for those who want to arrive at the gate with time and style to spare. Plus, who hasn't wanted to pop a wheelie in those long, TSA-monitored hallways? The Micro Luggage is available on Amazon for $299.
4. Drive-able Hammock
For a more laid-back approach to traveling, look no further than the motorized hammock. Nicknamed the "American Dream" by its creators, the vehicle travels at a max speed of five miles per hour. This may sound like a disadvantage, but it's hard to imagine the driver of a hammock to be in much of a hurry. Navigation is vested in a modified PlayStation2 controller. The joystick and a dual motor drive system allow for impressive maneuvering, including U turns. However, the unique relaxation machine comes with a hefty price tag--$3,199 from Etsy.
Finally, if you can't afford motorized shoes, skateboards, hammocks or suitcases, there are cheaper ways to spice up traditional methods of transportation. Take the Trotify, a Monty Python-esque contraption that turns any old bicycle into a horse--at least in the auditory sense. The wooden wheel mount adds the sound of hooves on cobblestones to every turn of the pedal, so you can ride about Seattle like a true English gentleman. The company is taking pre-orders for the product's 2013 release. In case the office has yet to have a Hawaiian themed party, the coconut halves can be added to the package for an additional fee.