The US Just Banned All Hoverboard Imports to Enforce Segway's Jealous Wrath

The US Just Banned All Hoverboard Imports to Enforce Segway's Jealous Wrath
Source: AP
Source: AP

Imagine you spent 10 years trying to make bell bottoms happen again. And then one fine spring, flare pants become the rage but no one will give you any credit for being right all along. Welcome to being Segway in the time of hoverboards.

Segway, sick of being outshined by hoverboards, finally got its revenge. The U.S. International Trade Commission is now enforcing a patent Segway holds, and is blocking all shipments of hoverboards from overseas.

Now, if you'd like, you can get yourself Segway's versions of hoverboards, most of which have handlebars and cost at least $6,000.

The one benefit: The hoverboard market is still plagued by low manufacturing standards. You've heard the stories by now — they keep exploding.

Even if it's a small minority of products with poorly made lithium-ion batteries, problems with shoddy hoverboard manufacturing have already hurt the market. Just before the 2015 holiday season, Amazon cracked down on Chinese manufacturers, decimating the industry overnight. 

This latest measure by the ITC could reduce the supply long enough to end the fad entirely. Then, Segway and its copycats can fade back into tech obscurity.

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Jack Smith IV

Jack Smith IV is a senior writer covering technology and inequality. Send tips, comments and feedback to jack@mic.com.

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