Wish we'd thought of that: transport special

The 2016 round of the New Zealand Innovation Awards is open for entries so if you've got an amazing product, service or venture—or you know someone with a great idea who needs to be shoulder-tapped—now's the time to tell your story. And to get you thinking about entering—and to do as we always do and celebrate innovation of all stripes—we'll be showing our jealousy and regularly showcasing the best and/or wackiest ideas we come across. First up, some of the more interesting methods devised to get you from A to B.

Off the scale

We’ve all been there. You need to head to the shop to grab emergency supplies for date night/the upcoming zombie apocalypse/Game of Thrones marathon/the rapid onset of diarrhoea, but you think walking is slow and silly. Well, it’s 2016 so tell your feet to chill out. Technology has got this.

Kinda like bathroom scales, except they move. And they don’t weigh you. The WalkCar by Cocoa Motors is touted as “the world's smallest electric vehicle” and is about the size of a laptop. The tiny transportation device can reach speeds of up to 10km/h and take you up to 12km – try to walk that fast without getting blistered tootsies.

Ridin' the green

Skating is fun but it requires skill and extreme confidence. Golf is also fun but it requires skill, time and a lot of walking. Put the two together, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. Damn they’re good.

Golf Skate Caddy, which was created by professional surfer Laird Hamilton and businessman Don Widman, has come to the golfing and skating parties with its golf cart-skateboard thingy. Bunker surfing anyone?


Onean has developed an electric jet-powered surfboard that you simply stand on, turn on, and go. The company has developed two boards: the Manta, a buoyant and stable board for those in the mood for a more leisurely float, and the Carver, an option for the thrill seeking, adrenaline junkies amongst us.

They see me rollin' 

If you enjoy wheel-based transport, but prefer to stay upright, then Lopifit have the innovation for you (as long as you don't mind the upturned eyebrows of passersby): a bike powered by a treadmill. 

A burst of energy

As the old saying goes, there's no point reinventing the wheel. But researchers from MIT (with assistance from the city of Copenhagen) flouted that advice and started developing a powered back wheel in 2009. Since then, e-bikes have become increasingly popular with urban commuters (and those attempting to take on the laws of gravity), and, after refining the technology, the Copenhagen Wheel starting shipping recently

  • Do you have an innovation worth celebrating? Check out the categories of the 2016 Innovation Awards and tell your story by clicking here

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