The Premise. Most sporting gear operates as simple machinery like the bicycle, skateboard or rollerblades. More recently, many have added motors and power to transportation device to give them some extra oomph. Even more recently, there have been a slew of accessories designed to go with these products that connect via Bluetooth to apps making them smarter. It is easier than ever to zoom to one’s destination and have detailed data about the trip.
The Product. Acton RockSkates are smart motorized skates that fit right over your shoes. Once they’ve been powered on, simply push off and the motors will take over to propel you forward. For accelerating, lean forward and for braking or stopping, put your heel down. This means that the rider has complete control over the motor without the hassle of a remote. These skates are gray and red and are slightly bulky. With an app and Bluetooth connection, the skater can track their route and mileage as well as the progress of other Acton RocketSkaters in the area.
The Pitch. Acton’s campaign starts off with a video of a ton of hipsters skating around L.A. with some funky music playing in the background. The creator then hops on to explain how his product works and what he needs funding for. For the remainder of the campaign, technical specs are discussed and a long list of praising quotes show the public’s adoration for the product. Acton is looking to raise $50,000 in a 45-day Kickstarter campaign.
The Perks. Early-birds can enjoy several discounted tiers at $199, $249 or $399. At a regular price, a pair of R-6 RocketSkates complete with accoutrements will cost backers a donation of $499 with estimated delivery in October 2014.
The Potential. Acton RocketSkates take the best of motorized transportation and app capabilities. While the skates themselves aren’t super stylish, their remote-less power is certainly desirable. Other sporting products offer power, like the Baja Board, but not many are smart as well. While the app seems interesting, there’s a lot more the creators can do with it, like adding fitness data or even perhaps an interactive map of the best routes through town for those wearing the skates. Still, the Acton RocketSkates are an exciting, futuristic addition to the sporting market and will certainly be worn by many power-hungry fitness buffs.
Julia Herrick is Backerjack's associate editor. She recently relocated from Canada to New Hampshire where she works in social media marketing and plays the cello for the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra.