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John Siobatian, President of IO Hawk, introduces his product as the latest method of personal transportation. A first glance at search engine hits had me wondering if this device was for individuals with mobility issues, but it’s not. This is a modern method of transportation for people who do a lot of walking and wish they had wheels attached to their feet. With the IO Hawk that’s just what they get.
The Structure of Wheeled Walking
A segue moves people in a similar way so if you have ever seen one, just reduce this in size and make it more intuitive. You wind up with the IO Hawk. Two wheels move a person intuitively from A to B without a handlebar or exterior controls.
Viewing users it’s clear they merely lean a little to change direction as they would with a skateboard. Watch a video of this new invention in action with young people weaving in and out of traditional pedestrians smoothly and quickly, making no effort.
Physically, a skateboard is the closest comparison, but you don’t have to push or exert yourself in any way. There are several videos on Youtube, one featured on the company website, and the product has been featured on several TV programs. These include the Today Show and Fox New Business.
The IO Hawk consists of a 23-inch long foot board with textured foot rests. If you measured from the ground it would be 4.3″ high. Take your gadget on an airplane or on the bus and it will not strain your back at less than 22 lbs.
Users can weigh as little as 45 lbs or more than 250 lbs, so the IO Hawk is versatile as a means of moving individuals who are small or large and helpful to someone with a disability, although one does have to display good balance and confidence.
This could take some getting used to: moving on a board with no clasps to hold your feet on and no handles which could leave a person wondering how they stay upright on their wheels at all. The IO Hawk is a marvel.
Day or Night Use
Use your IO Hawk at night and lights come on so you are visible to others the whole time. They are beautiful bright blue. The IO Hawk reaches speeds of 6.2 mph and can climb a little bit, but only 15º. The tires are non-pneumatic and hollow which simply means you don’t pump them up. They are not going to burst if you hit a rough patch or some sharp items.
Purchase your Piece in the Personal Transportation Movement
If you want an IO Hawk, you are going to have to pay $1,799.99 USD and wait a little while. They are currently on back order and the company appears to prefer Paypal as a method of handing over payment, which means setting up an account too for those who don’t have one already. The company offers five colors: black, red, blue, white, and yellow.
Limitations of the IO Hawk
As you can see, a Hawk does not move extremely quickly, although 6.2 mph is more than most people can walk or even run. Unfortunately, the maximum distance you can cover before charging is 9 to 12 miles, but the Li Ion battery is rechargeable. It also looks as though it was designed primarily for use on well-maintained cemented city sidewalks.