Kuniako Saito, along with his team at Cocoa Motors, wants to show the world that Japan can be a powerful space for innovation. Looking to garner financial support from crowdfunding site Kickstarter, the 26-year-old engineer developed a futuristic, portable skateboard that looks to replace the Segway and provide a more realistic alternative to the Hoverboard.
The device itself looks more like a laptop than anything else — a sleek aluminum board mounted on four tiny but strong wheels. Often dubbed "car in a bag' because of its ultra-portability (imagine riding your Macbook Air), the WalkCar weighs anywhere between 4.4 to 6.6 pounds depending on whether you choose the indoor or outdoor model, and can carry up to 265 pounds.
Given its size, the device is also deceptively simple to use. Juiced by a rechargeable lithium battery, the device begins to move forward moments after you step onto its surface and stops as soon as you step off. Changing directions is as easy as shifting your body weight from side to side.
"I thought, 'what if we could just carry our transportation in our bags, wouldn't that mean we'd always have our transportation with us to ride on?'" Saito told Reuters.
The WalkCar can reach speeds up to 6.2 miles per hour and travel about 7.4 miles after a three hour recharge. It can also gain enough momentum to push other, larger objects like wheelchairs or shopping carts. Not bad for a futuristic skateboard.
The device will be up for preorder this coming October, and, depending on the success of the Kickstarter campaign, will begin shipping in the Spring of 2016 at a price of approximately $800 (100,000 Yen).