And now, me. What do these diverse people have in common? Well, we’re all part of an elite fraternity of individuals who have experience with a magical little device called a Swagway. And I’m gonna tell you about it. Boy howdy, am I going to tell you about it.
What Is It: A Swagway. It’s a Segway, plus swag. Or whatever. It’s basically a motorized, self-balancing scooter you control with your movements. It works with gyroscopes, or something like that. It plugs into the wall. Here’s a baby on one.
Who Tried It: Alex Heigl. Internet whisperer/futurist/associate editor at PEOPLE.com.
Level of Difficulty: Unclear. I took to the Swagway almost immediately, like a majestic swan. A few of my coworkers fell off. Again, there’s that video of a baby using it. On a scale of one to five, honestly, I’d call it a three. You have to resist your natural inclination to balance yourself and just go limp and let the gyroscopes or elves or whatever’s actually in this thing do the work. And some people, not being gifted with a sense of balance, are just not gonna be able to hang.
How Much Does It Cost? $400.
Is It Fun? Oh my lord, yes. Maybe the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. Now, granted, I’ve been moved to fury by seeing grown men riding these up and down the Queensboro Bridge, in my bike lane, BUT indoors – in the PEOPLE offices – this thing is a dream. There’s really nothing quite like gliding past people and turning elaborate loops as they sit there with their dumb, immobile feet.
Caveats: I probably wouldn’t take it on the street. At 20 pounds, it’s pretty solid and sturdy, but not like, “lemme just tool around Midtown in this thing” sturdy. It’s got a 20-mile battery life and a two-hour charge time, so if you run out of battery life on, say, a bridge, you’ve gotta carry a brightly colored piece of ABS plastic with rubberized wheels all the way to the next Starbucks and sit there for two hours while it juices up.
Other cons: Seething jealousy masked as scorn from the rest of the general public. A growing sense of alienation as you realize that your peers were never truly on your level, and they never will be, and that’s more their fault than yours and what are you even doing associating with people who use their feet, like rubes – hayseeds, even – anyway?
Conclusion: A stirring, hearty endorsement. Buy one. Buy two and race your friends. Buy four and create an unstoppable gang of futurists.