Poweriser: Extreme Sports Gear from The Diamond Age

In The Diamond Age, author Neal Stephenson creates a vivid picture of a future Shanghai. The novel mixes "futuristic" devices based on nanotechnology with simpler mechanical devices that are almost Victorian in their simplicity.

One of these devices is the pedomotive, a device for improving the speed of cops on the beat:

"A constable from the Shanghai police, legs strapped into a pedomotive, was coming down the street with the tremendous loping strides afforded by such devices... [more]

Imagine my surprise when skimming Kevin Kellys' Cool Tools, I found a real-life pedomotive.

It's called the Poweriser, by Superdairyboy Toys & Extreme Sports. (Note: in Europe, you might want to take a look at PowerSkip; the Superdairyboy guys tell me this product was first developed in Germany, possibly for professional acrobatic entertainers.)

Poweriser from Superdairyboy Toys & Extreme Sports

Here's the scoop:

"Powerisers are worn on your feet. One Poweriser for each foot.

Each foot rests on a foot pad. A lock and release strap system(similar to a SnowBoard Binding) of two straps holds your shoe tightly against the foot pad. This system is very similar to a ski boot.

A bar comes up the back of your leg, and goes around the front of your leg right below your knee. When using them, your leg rests snug against this (padded) bar, which is what gives the stability. A small strap is attached behind your leg at this bar, which does a bit to keep the bar against your leg."

Don't miss the Extreme sports video clips.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/11/2004)

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