Some of us remember a time when you could get roller skates that fit shoes. Moonwalkers have the same idea, except that the goal with their project is for the wheels to be powered, to drive you forward at a maximum speed of 11 km/h.
Speed Increase Depends on Base Walking Speed
They claim that this would increase walking speed by 250 percent, but I already walk at 5 to 7km/h, so it would double walking speed. Theoretically, this is a fantastic idea because it allows people who walk more slowly to get around more quickly, whilst walking. The drawback is that, as with all these developments, they are designed for urban, rather than rural use. They are designed to speed up getting around for people who already have access to buses, trains, foot scooters and more.
Remember the horizontal escalators that we find in airports. You step onto them, and they propel you forward at one speed, whilst you walk at another? It’s like that, except that you’re wearing the horizontal escalator, and it goes where you go. It gives you the convenience of that horizontal escalator without the limitations.
Learning To Walk With Them
There are some instructional videos on how to use them. First you get used to walking with them in lock mode, to get used to the shoes, and then when you’re comfortable you shift to run mode and walk at an enhanced speed. To slow down, you take smaller and smaller steps until you stop. To understand the sensation, it makes sense to try them on.
They are currently being sold on pre-order for 1400 USD. They are way too expensive. Electric foot scooters cost the same a few years ago. Now they cost a third to a quarter of the price. I would wait a few generations before getting them.
In previous posts I have considered the move from self powered bikes, electric scooters and more as a shift away from muscle powered transport. It has shown humans replacing the car, not with fitness, but with different machines, that also help reduce the amount of effort they make. This is another iteration of that.
I already walk two to three times faster than most people, which is why I overtake them with ease, and why I can walk longer distances before considering that the distance is too far. It’s because I walk fast that I see no need for buses and bus routes. It’s because I already have great freedom, that the notion of spending 1400 USD for shoes that make me a little faster is uninteresting.