Segway scoots off Amazon's shelves

The Segway Human Transporter, the self-balancing electric scooter that has kept technophiles abuzz for the past two years, ranks among the best-selling items on Amazon.com, the online retailer said Monday. The machine won't ship until March 2003, but pre-orders already place the high-tech scooter in the top half percent of sales, said Steve Frazier, vice president of electronics, tools and kitchen goods sales at Amazon.

Amazon started taking orders for the Segway Human Transporter last month, requiring a $495 deposit toward the Human Transporter's price of $4,950, and putting enthusiasts one step closer to riding the much-hyped invention once known only under its development name, "Ginger."

"It's selling better than many of our digital cameras," Frazier said. "If this were ranked in our top items in electronics, it would be in the top five when it first went on sale and still be among the top 200 out of about 68,000 total products."

The brainchild of inventor Dean Kamen, the Segway carries one passenger standing on a small platform between two side-by-side wheels. Leaning slightly forward moves the scooter forward, leaning back reverses course, and turns are made by twisting the handle.

Segway buyers will get a limited edition print to gaze at until their machine arrives, along with, eventually, the device itself, a booklet and a training session on how to master it.

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News source: c|net

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