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CES: Goodbye wheelchair, hello WHILL

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WHILL is launching its new Model Ci, an intelligent, personal electric vehicle (PEV) that has the power to eliminate the feeling of self-consciousness reflected in antiquated scooters and wheelchairs.

The Model Ci combines a sleek, fashionable design with advanced driving features such as a joystick for precise maneuverability inside and patented front omni-wheels with two powerful motors to glide through rough undulating city streets as well as off-road terrain without hesitation. Model Ci also disassembles into three components so that it can be transported easily. WHILL built the Model Ci Personal EV for those who are active, social and crave adventure.

Stocked with the latest wireless technologies, the Model Ci incorporates app-enabled driving for greater independence, multiple driving modes to match a driver’s riding style and comfort zone, and a digital battery charge indictor to stem range anxiety, all enabled via Bluetooth. Leveraging mobile broadband and GPS, the Model Ci provides predictive product maintenance information as well as remote customer support.

“With its modern design, the Model Ci challenges today’s conventions with a product that, due to its futuristic appeal, eliminates the stigma and adverse psychological impact that affects people who use mobility devices,” says Satoshi Sugie, CEO of WHILL and former Nissan designer. “The result is not just freedom of mobility, but freedom from the self-consciousness often associated with a wheelchair or scooter.”
Model Ci boasts a 10 mile range from its lithium-ion battery and has a top speed of 5mph. The Model Ci is highly versatile with power to climb hills and conquer rugged terrains yet extremely agile indoors to maneuver through tight doorways and confined areas. Consumers no longer need two devices, one for indoors and another one for outdoors; the Model Ci masters all environments beautifully.

WHILL’s design and engineering team includes automotive, electronics and mobility engineers who are focused on redefining the concept of personal mobility for those who have difficulty walking.

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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

Use the page links below to continue reading about Tan’s visions.

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entries via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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