Ars Technica's Andrew Cunningham got a chance to try out a pair of RocketSkates, a motorized pair of step-in, battery-powered skates that recently brought in over half a million bucks in Kickstarter funding. We'll admit, these things look like they could be pretty fun to use – once you got over the learning curve, anyway.
The skates are targeted primarily at city-dwellers "and people who would rather spend less time in their cars, or if they don't have a car," [RocketSkates creator Peter Treadway] said. "Something to enjoy oneself with, and get around."
This city-centric pitch is reflected strongly in the skates' design. The three separate models offer six, eight, or ten miles of travel—not much for rural areas, but enough to get you through a pretty full day of walking in the city. The toes of your shoes hang over the skates so that you can stop them and walk, useful for navigating stairs or curbs.
Could motorized wearables be the future of personal transportation? We're not holding our breath. But if they are, we hope helmets are still a thing in the future. From the looks of it, anyone grabbing a pair of these in hopes of zipping around busy city streets and sidewalks would be advised to give them a spin in private, first. Preferably somewhere spacious, and devoid of people.