Thursday, 29 December 2016

Safety First!

Safety is one of the most important things and I can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure you are riding your hoverboard properly. These safety tips are for all electric scooter devices, including but not limited to; ninebot, Segway, AirWheel and Smart 2 Hoverboards.

First things first make sure you have your helmet. The best kind of helmet you can use and is strongly suggested is a round helmet. You want to use a round helmet because it fully protects your head if you were to ever fall. Smart Wheel Canada sells concussion preventative helmets that are fully adjustable so your helmet fits to your head. The reason you wouldn’t want a bike helmet is because it will increase the chances of getting a concussion due to the slants/ angles on the back of the helmet. The front of the helmet (visor) doesn’t detach while the Nutcase helmets do.

Make sure your feet are flat whenever you are getting on or off your electric device. The main reason you want to do this is that it will keep your device close to you and is the safest way to do so, while also preventing it front vibrating or doing something random.

Always get off backwards, this is because your speed comes from pushing on the balls of your feet. If you get off your device going forwards you could get hurt or end up at least a foot away from your device.

When you are riding your electric device please keep your feet to the sides, (not including any one wheel devices, in that case keep your feet against the device), this will allow for better turning, more control as well as better stability.

Rain, water and snow can be so beautiful as well as mesmerizing at times. However for hoverboards please don’t ride your device outside during that weather. The salt is bad for your hoverboard and most of them aren’t waterproof or water resistant. For other devices such as Segways, AirWheel, ninebot have a higher weather resistance which varies depending on the product.

With winter in full affect make sure you aren’t riding your devices in temperatures below 0°C.  Riding in cold temperatures isn’t good for the battery and will also drain the battery quickly.  In some cases battery may cut off frequently causing immediate shutdown while riding.

When spring, summer and fall return please ride on sidewalks and not the road. Depending on your devices you can go on dirt roads, trails and gravel. Devices such as Smart 2 10” hoverboards, Segways, AirWheel and ninebot all have air tires and are great for all terrains.

For all devices make sure you are using pedestrian pathways, tracks and trails. Do not ride on the road unless crossing at an intersection. Follow all road rules and regulations for pedestrians as these are considered personal electric mobility devices and not a vehicle.

See my next blog about catching on how to charge and store your device.

Check out our Facebook page and follow us. See what else I'll be posting there! For training on how to ride your device either visit me in the store or watch this video.

Let me know what you think about it or if you have any tips you think we should add.

Monday, 19 December 2016

What Wheel Size is For Me?

4.5", 5.5", 6.5", 8" or 10" wheel? There are so many sizes, how do I know what is good for me or to buy for my son, daughter, niece, nephew, brother, sister or for a friend? If that’s what you are going through you have come to the right place.

Since hoverboards have gained such popularity the wheel size has become a major deciding part when purchasing a hoverboard. Each size offers distinct benefits when it comes to needs of the rider. Most standard hoverboards that are sold today are typically the 6.5” wheel with 3 other variations i.e. 4.5”, 8” and 10” wheel that also became popular due to growing needs to accommodate all age groups.

Below we have explained each wheel size in detail with some benefits and limitations that each wheel size poses.

4.5” wheel is designed for young riders aged from 5-10 however the most important factor is the weight of the rider. 4.5”wheel is good for young riders with a weight range from 10 kg to 60 kg (30 pounds to 135 pounds). Since this version is smaller than the standard version 6.5” wheel, it is designed to go half the speed. Standard Speed for 6.5” wheel is 10km/hour while the 4.5 goes 5km/ hour for safety reasons.

This hoverboard is ideal for young riders for three main reasons,

·         Smaller in size with lower pad height, which makes it easier for kids to learn

·         Kids can enjoy anywhere from 1hr to 3 hrs of continuous riding on one charge

·         It is easier to carry for kids as it only weighs half the weight (5.5 kg) compared to the standard 6.5”.

·         The tire is solid rubber so there no need to worry about punctures or flat tire.

·         Low motor power of 300W on each side is also ideal for kids in this age group

6.5” wheel is the most common and has become a standard wheel size of all hoverboards. It was used in the first hoverboard a few years ago. 6.5 inch motor is typically 250w to 350W and wheel has a solid rubber base without a tube, so the riding is worry free, meaning you don’t have to worry about punctures in your tires. The battery capacity is generally 4.4AH which is good for 2-4 hours of riding in general or ~15km range . The riding time is mainly dependent on the rider weight and riding style. Aggressive riding or harsh stopping drains more battery and will lead to less riding time.

The pad base is designed to be attached at the center axle which makes it very stable and easy to step on and step off. It is also used as a starter and beginner hoverboard due to its small wheel and easy to step on and step off. Because of its low clearance it is ideal for smooth surfaces, it can also be ridden in malls or in or around the house. It can be used on sidewalks and asphalt surfaces however the problem is small wheel base and solid wheel tire. They pose a challenge for the rider to adjust to vibrations from the rough terrain as well as the expansion gaps and bumps on the sidewalks.

It is recommended for ages 8 years old and older with a min. weight 30kg (65 pounds) and max. weight up to 100 kg (220 pounds) that makes it fun ride for the whole family. After training thousands of riders and learning from their experiences we found that rider with a lower weight are mostly okay with 6.5” wheel on indoor flat surface or outdoor sidewalks. However as the weight increases it is difficult to ride 6.5” wheel for a longer period of time due to its hard tires and smaller wheel base.

 8”wheel has same motor power and battery capacity as 6.5” wheel and allows the rider to go a little faster, however the difference might not be significant enough to notice the slight difference in speed.

8” solid rubber tire is perfect for some riders with growing needs. If you are in the age group of 10 to 14 this would be a step up from the 6.5” due to a little extra foot base, more clearance and higher pad level from the ground.

So far we have talked about 4.5, 6.5 and 8 inch with solid wheels. 10” is a HUGE step up from the other three sizes.

The 10” wheel offers a different experience due to its tube tire. 10” models have become very popular for the same reason with young riders and young adults. The 10” offers an amazing smooth ride on all terrains such as but not limited to; grass, sidewalks, indoors, tracks ad even country roads. It is preferred by people that wish to ride for a longer period of time or alternatively for short distance commutes. It is also suitable for long distance in some cases due to faster speed. The minimum weight range for the 10” is the same as the 6.5” and 8” at 30kg (65 pounds), however the 10” weight can go up to 110 kg (240 pounds). It is best suited for preteens and older or for riders that need a personal mobility device to go around.

The tube tires are easy to replace but the rider will have to maintain the tire pressure frequently to the rider’s weight. Motor wattage and battery capacity are same as 6.5” and 8” models, 250W-350W/ motor and 4.4AH Battery, respectively. However larger tires will travel more distance than smaller and it has been tested to go ~20km on one charge with an average adult.

See my next blog about catching on safety.
Now you know what size tire to buy but what about which brand, feel free to check out last weeks blog about which hoverboard you should buy, or at least be looking at.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Which Hoverboard Should I Buy?

When it comes to hoverboards there are very few companies who has specialized in this technology.

Smart Wheel Canada as one of the first in this industry and with vast amount of knowledge about Self Balancing Technology (Hoverboards) and working closely with our manufacturing partners has allowed us to serve as leader in this industry. We have worked closely with needs of all age groups, different applications and Safety and recently partnered with HX group to launch a higher quality co-brand as Smart2HX Series.

Smart Wheel has also designed many accessories including PU leather covers, Hard cases and SmartKart3 Hoverkart by partnering with quality manufactures. 

Smart Wheel offers 2 different  series of hoverboards, Smart2 and Smart2HX. series has been around for almost 2 years but has had a different name in the past and is the most common first generation hoverboard. Over the period of time there has been many upgrades that have improved it, little by little, such as but not limited to, Blue-tooth, Remote, variety of colours, Modified 8” and 10” wheel size versions. Smart 2 series is an entry level in our lineup that is currently available in four different wheel sizes.

4.5” Wheel – Solid Rubber Tire
6.5" Wheel - Solid Rubber Tire  (Royal Blue with Black pads)
8” Wheel – Solid Rubber Tire (Black with Red pads)

10” Wheel – Tube Tire  (Graffiti with black pads)

There are so many colours and designs that are available its crazy. There are the regular colours, candy apple red (burgundy), red, blue, green, white, black. Then you can get fancy with electric silver, shinny teal, shinny pink, electric gold. But if you don't like those colours there are also designs, like hip hop, graffiti, skulls, green camo, carbon black, electric black and fire red.
My favourites however are the blue, candy apple red (burgundy), shinny teal, graffiti, electric black and fire red.

Smart2HX series is also available in following wheel sizes to meet its rival Smart2 Series.

 Whether it’s 6.5, 8 or 10 inch wheel the quality of the Smart2HX is built for performance and control. Smart2HX hoverboards have many benefits such as, durability, reliability and they are a more agile device. If you listen to music all the time on the go then you will fall in love with the sound quality and smooth ride. They come with Built-in Stereo (Twin) Bluetooth speakers and dancing lights and have higher clearance which allows you to go on more difficult terrain.

6.5” Wheel – Solid Rubber Tire (Flower)

8” Wheel – Solid Rubber Tire (Red)
10” Wheel – Tube Tire (Blue)

Smart 2 HX Hoverboards don't have a lot of colours however the 6.5" tire does get some bonus designs. There are the typical colours, blue, red, green, white and black but the designs will most definitely grab your attention. From flowers, to camo, black skulls, fire red and hip hop. There's even electric gold that will give you can see yourself in, due to the reflection. 
However, both Smart2 and Smart2HX series have their pros and cons as per following comparison.

What design do you think you would like best and why? Leave a comment and don't forget to check back next week.

Next weeks blog will be about what wheel Size is for Me?

For more about which brand to buy please visit Smart Wheel Canada's Website.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Shopping For Hoverboard Store Check List

Hoverboards. “There are so many out there I just don’t know where to go.” “How do I know that it won’t catch fire?” “Why would I get one?” “What’s the point of a hoverboard, doesn’t that just promote laziness?” “What should I ask when I go to buy a hoverboard?”

Time and time again I hear these questions, now, it’s time to get some answers. Let’s face it, everyone wants to be safe, have fun and fit in. With more and more people purchasing a hoverboard how do you know where to go or if it is going to blow up?  Anyone can say that it won’t blow up, it won’t catch fire but is that really the case? Is it really that good of an idea to have children riding around on hoverboards on the sidewalks, roads or to the park, what about schools?

When purchasing a hoverboard you want to make sure that the store you’re getting it from is reliable. You can do that by checking Google reviews or Facebook reviews, including word of mouth.

Reviews – Check!

“These guys are the awesome. I called them about a issue about a hover board which I didn't even buy from them. They asked me to bring it in & they fixed my issue then and there. It was a loose connection issue. On top of this they didn't charge me a dime. I am definitely going here for my next purchase.”  – BBN

“Absolutely wonderful Customer Service. Do not have one complaint about these guys. Great selection of products and they have always treated my kids and I in the upmost professional way. Call and speak to Kash...he will recommend and educate the best way. Never once has he upsold me to a more expensive model...always sticks with what's best suited for the kids. Awesome”
– Ian Simpson

Now that you’ve checked their reviews look at their website, see what it’s like. Does it look professional, is there a lot going on, is it easy to use questions like that.

Then try calling them and ask about their products, warranties and repairs. Learn about the process of getting a repair done. One of the reasons you want to do that is because then you know what to do if something were to go wrong with your hoverboard. For instants, what happens if your main board stops working or you have a dead gyro? What happens if all of a sudden your hoverboard won’t turn on or off? Then what? I mean children, grandchildren and some adults are riding these devices what happens if their riding it and it just turns off for no reason even though it’s fully charged?

I realize that some of you might not know what some of those words/ pieces are but I promise if you keep reading my other blog posts you’ll learn about hoverboards as well as the technology and other products. But back to these questions.

If the person gives you a go around or says “I don’t know” then you might want to look at a different store to purchase your hoverboard from, like right away.

Now it’s time to go into the store and see what it’s like. If you get there and it’s someone’s house, please run away as fast as you can which includes if it’s someone’s vehicle. There are other stores that sell hoverboards as well as something else, such as candy or games. It’s always best to pick a company/ store that specializes in the product you are going to buy.

Some stores let you try out the product which is great because not everyone is going to love the hoverboard product and that’s okay, but it’s better to find that our prior to making a large purchase then letting it collect dust in a basement, attic or storage unit.

So I have come up with a few steps to do before making a purchase.

·         Step 1 Check Reviews (Google & Facebook)

·         Step 2 Check their website

·         Step 3 Call

·         Step 4 Ask questions about warranty, repairs

·         Step 5 Go into the store

·         Step 6 Making the purchase

There you go, now you have the steps you need to find the store. What do you do when you are trying to figure out what store you’re going to buy it from?

Next you have to look at sizes and finding the right hoverboard for the person you’re buying it for. Make sure to leave a comment below, let me know what you think and if you have any questions leave them below in the comments section and I’ll make sure to answer them.

See my next blog about which hoverboard you should buy.

Monday, 28 November 2016

It Doesn't Float!

For example, take a hoverboard, it has two wheels, isn’t really a hoverboard because let’s be honest, it doesn’t hover. However it does balance its self. So what would you call it? Some people call them “segways,” “swagways,” “hoverboards,” “scooters,” “self-balancing boards,” and a bunch of other names. Well let’s look at all those names separately.

Segway i2, its huge!                                                  Smart 2 HX Hoverboard 

Look at a Segway, it is a huge piece of equipment that can go on all terrains, has huge tires, can go as fast as 20 kilometers per hour and can take up to 10 hours to get a full charge. Now, if I am looking for my son, daughter, niece, nephew or whomever that is looking for something small, I am most defiantly not going to buy that, not to mention they can cost anywhere from $10,000.00 a Segway such as the x2 SE is not something I am going to buy them. However if I am looking for something that can increase productivity and I am using in a fast pace environment such as; a personal mobility assistant, security, police force, hunting, camping, rentals, parks, maintenance industries, as an event planners or a storage facilities/ ware houses then a Segway is something that I am going to purchase.

Swagway, the company started by calling hoverboards Segway then got in some trouble with the real Segway Company so they changed their name to Swagway. It’s an interesting name change however I have read about many of these boards having issues not to mention the many that have been repaired.

Hoverboards, let’s be honest, they aren’t really hoverboards. Seeing as a hoverboard would have to actually float off the ground while these boards have two wheels that touch the ground and roll. Where did someone get hoverboard?

Now there are some people that call them scooters. Last I checked a scooter had a thin piece to stand on at the bottom and then a handle bar with a break above the rear wheel that you would have to step on. Even when you type the word "scooter" into google images this is what pops up.
So this word doesn’t work to describe these devices.

Then there's the word/ phrase "self-balancing boards."
Self-Balancing Boards, now this name I have seen and I like it. It might be just me but does anyone else find this name long? The technology in the board really does do most of the work. The only thing you have to do is either point your toes down to go faster or drop your heels back to either go backwards or slow down. The other benefit is that you could work on your core by not moving as much while also working on your posture. But that’s a topic for a different day.

So what do you call these smart wheel devices?

Personally, I call them Smart 2, that’s because it’s a smart device with two wheels.

Look for my next blog about hoverboards.
If you want to learn more about the amazing technology please see my older blog called: Smart Technology... Simplified!

Make sure to leave a comment with your thoughts, I would love to know what you think!

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Smart Technology...Simplified

Hi, I’m Elizabeth, some people like to call me Liz. I graduated from Sheridan College back in 2015 and started working at Smart Wheel Canada in July 2016. I love helping people and working in the community. When I found Smart Wheel Canada and looked at their values and their mission I was so excited because we matched in more ways than one. Now you know a little about me let’s get started.

This blog is all about smart balancing technology. What is smart technology first off? Well to answer that question, smart balancing technology is technology that does most of the work for you, in my opinion.

Google says that smart balancing technology means; A self-balancing scooter. A self-balancing scooter or self-balancing two-wheeled board, commonly referred to as a "hoverboard", is a type of portable, rechargeable battery-powered scooter. They typically consist of two wheels arranged side-by-side, with two small platforms between the wheels, on which the rider stands.

A few people I have talked to weren’t really sure what “Smart Balancing Technology” is. Take a look at some of the things people said.

“Technology that doesn’t require humans to put any effort into balancing. It doesn’t require us to balance, its stands on its own two feet so to speak. However I feel that it is in its early stages and it has a lot more potential to be more than just technology that is found in just Segways and hoverboards. The applications are endless for self-balancing technology.” - Cody Evans

“I would think of things like the hover boards. Something that is able keep itself upright or centred on its own.” - Melissa Huson

“When I think of self-balancing Technology I would assume that it's something that stays centered.” - Katie Brown

“Self-balancing technology is what adjusts the wheel speed in an attempt to get in sync with your body and keep you upright.” - Clarke Perry

“If I had to guess I'd say its technology that regulates its own processes depending on how much it's needed.” – Caleb McCarroll-Butler

“Finding the balance to not let yourself be controlled by what is on line and still have your own thoughts and ideas.” – Connor Adkins

“Self Balancing Technology to me has 2 definitions depending on the context. First, I see it as technology that adapts and changes based on what it is being used for. Like a computer chip that can tell what programs are used most often so it changes to those programs so that they are open when it boots up but it doesn't start programs that are not used as much.  Second, I think it could be technology that balances the self. Like, a pace maker or a chip in someone’s brain that balances them chemically.” – Riley Danforth

“It means technology in objects that usually will fall over don't fall over.” – Anonymous

To summarize all this, not many people know what Smart Balancing Technology is other than that its technology that is smart and does the work for you. So what is “Smart Balancing Technology” really?

The Technology

Smart Devices such as hoverboards, one wheeler, personal transportation all work with the same technology, or similar technology. They sense the lean of the rider with the assistance of five micro-machined angular rate sensors and two accelerometers that sense the angle of the device with respect to gravity at 100 times per second. It balances the rider by applying forces to the ground in the direction of the lean.

Background of the technology

Smart Balancing Technology is also called self-balancing technology and self-balancing scooters, those are all different names that are all based off electronic gyroscope balance technology. That technology is used in drones, smart phones and was first used by Segway in 1999 for personal transporters.

The Technology in a nut shell.

The tilt sensors in the wheels tell the gyroscopes how far forward you’re leaning. The gyroscopes relay this information to the logic board.

The more you’re leaning forward, the faster the logic board tells the motors to spin, to sort of “catch up” with your center of gravity. It’s this simple (yet very clever) mechanism which allows you to control the cruising speed of the scooter with your weight.

How do you feel about this technology? Leave a comment and let me know.

Look for my next blog: It doesn’t Float!