Peter Treadway's battery-powered motorized shoes - which we first spied as a concept in mid-2010 - are edging closer to production. Called spnKiX, these electric roller-skates have gone through more than thirty prototypes over a five year period to reach the final design and if all goes to plan they will hit the pavement in March 2012.
spnKiX feature a frame made of fiber reinforced nylon that the rider straps on while still wearing their normal shoes. Each "shoe" contains all the electronic parts - there's one in wheel motor and one battery pack for each foot. Gliding is controlled via a wireless handheld remote contro that comes with a simple switch to adjust the speed. There's also a little reflector located on the back of each shoe for safety.
Unless your workplace is close by, the shoes are unlikely to become your new commuting option though. The rechargeable lithium battery is good for only 2-3 miles ride and it takes 2-3 hours to recharge it. The maximum speed is quite impressive (and possibly even a little scary in some situations) at 10 mph. The maker recommends that the rider should be at least sixteen, weighing no more than 180lbs (81kg).
The spnKiX motorized shoes can be pre-ordered for the price of US$375 (the future retail price will be US$649). The first batch of 100 units is slated to be shipped by early March 2012, but this depends on whether the company gathers backing of US$25,000 at the time of writing the project has raised $13,000 with 42 days remaining to reach its goal.