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Hoverboards seen hogging limelight at Gitex Shopper

Retailers bullish on demand for self-balancing smart scooters that come with LED lights, Bluetooth and speakers

Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Gulf News
The Xtouch personal tranporter exhibited at Gitex Shopper in Dubai. The hoverboards can reach speeds of 20km/h with each charge, and can carry a weight of 120 kilograms.
Gulf News

Dubai: There are quite a few models of self-balancing electric smart scooters, also dubbed as hoverboards by some, that are gaining attention.

Prices range from Dh1,399 to Dh2,400 depending on the model and specifications, with some even having LED lights, Bluetooth and speakers for riders to listen to music.

Some salesmen were hovering around the Gitex Shopper halls with these scooters on Monday.

Just by leaning forward or backwards or applying pressure with the toes or heals, user can pull off pirouettes or accelerate the pace as the sensors will detect the users’ movements.

The built-in gyroscope identifies body positions as well as analysing and completing instructions using a high-speed central processing unit (CPU) that offers intelligent control even when cruising at speeds of between 10 and 20 kilometres per hour.

“The popularity of the self-balancing scooters will continue to grow among kids and students and [they are] a lifestyle product,” Vasant Menghani, managing director of Touchmate, told Gulf News.

He cited the importance of engaging children who spend most of their time either glued to the TV, smartphones or tablets.

“A sedentary lifestyle could lead to a lot of health risks and as it is a niche product, the kids will use it for fun. The intention is physical activity,” he said.

The devices can go 20km/h with each charge, and can carry a weight of 120 kilograms. It takes between one and three hours to charge one.

To enhance the security, the scooters are designed with LED indicators to show a user’s position, battery status and operation status.

Some companies have launched more than six models with varying wheel bases — 4.5 inches, six inches, 6.5-inches, eight inches and 10 inches.

Jack Lee, president of XTouch, said the products are functional, cool and entertaining.

“[A] couple of years ago, it was wearables and the trend is more towards lifestyle now. Regarding lifestyle, the product has to be cool, doesn’t matter what age you are,” he said.

Lee sees the trend really picking up in the entertainment business with famous stars like Justin Beiber, Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Nick Jonas and many Hollywood actors already on board.

In Hollywood and in the US, Lee said that the smart scooters are sold for $1,700 (Dh6,244) and above.

”The demand is bigger than the supply in the UAE,” both Lee and Menghani said.

Menghani added that demand is so huge and the components are not available in China.

Long Jin, sales manager at EPower Electronic Trading, said that they have sold 50 units in two days.

The company, which has a presence at the Dragon Mart, hopes to sell 300 pieces at Gitex Shopper.

“We sell around 500 pieces from the Dragon Mart. The trend is slowly catching up in the UAE,” he said.

Khaled Shahin, sales supervisor at Tarsam iMage, said that customers are taking a look and inquiring about the device, and some are even trying it out.

Lee said that the true zero-turning radius enables the scooter to rotate easily. Lifestyle products are the trend of the market, more and more products will pop up into the market to make the life easier, he said.

Menghani expects the self-balancing scooters to be on a lot of wish lists during the Christmas holidays.

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