Let’s be fair, this isn’t the first electric scooter-type unit you’ve seen, but it certainly is one of the smallest, lightest and more convenient. This is the Solowheel Iota by Inventist, the folks behind the Solowheel and Hovertrax.

We hesitate to use the word ‘hoverboard,’ in the same way we like to say quadcopter instead of drone, but that’s what the cool kids call them. So, Shane Chen and Inventist have outdone themselves, the Solowheel Iota hoverboard is hitting Kickstarter now as an 8 pound, 10 mph personal electric vehicle.

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The modern version of a hoverboard is usually considered to be a two wheeled device with a platform to stand on between the wheels. Alternatives, including the Solowheel, put your feet on either side of a central wheel – the Solowheel Iota follows the center-wheel design, but in a very compact form factor.

With wheels just 8-inches tall, the early prototype being shown off now is, perhaps, one of the most streamlined and efficient looking devices of this sort. Yes, there are two wheels currently packed in there, despite the ‘solo’ aspect of its name. Best of all, at least for those of us with poor balance, the foot pegs are very close to the ground – there is physics at hand that can explain why these ‘hanging’ platforms are more stable than balancing above the axle that connects the wheels, but we’ll shy away from that today.

Bottom line, turning personal transportation into a package roughly the size of your bicycle helmet makes sense to us. We’re excited to see this project already meeting its funding goals on Kickstarter, which means you can look forward to the hands-on experience sometime in the fall of 2017 when shipments go out. A $445 pledge now will get you your own Solowheel Iota, or expect a $600 price in stores by Christmas.

Are you a fan of these electric scooters and hoverboards, or are they just toys for children in your books?

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