CES 2012 may have appeared to be all about ultrabooks and 4G phones, but if you searched hard enough you could still discover a mad scientist demonstrating a brilliant, but sometimes a bit scary, invention. The Board of Awesomeness from app developers Chaotic Moon seems to fit that bill quite nicely.
Motorized skateboards aren’t anything new, but the aptly named Board of Awesomeness is something a little more inventive than simply strapping on an engine, as it uses Microsoft’s Kinect as a control system.
A Kinect sensor sits on the nose of the longboard, facing up towards the rider, who then uses hand and body movements to set the board in motion and influence its direction. For example, a forward push of the hands gets you going, and pulling them back slows you down.
Leaning from side to side still turns the board, just like those without motors attached, and the whole thing is monitored by a tablet mounted in-front of the Kinect sensor. Here it’s a prototype Windows 8 slate, which tracks your journey using the GPS, the accelerometer and even video recording.
The motor is an 800-watt electric unit powered by a 36-volt battery, capable of propelling the board and its rider up to speeds of 32mph. That’s city traffic speeds, and although that speed doesn’t feel fast in a car, it must feel like 132mph when standing upright, unsecured, on a thin piece of wood.
Chaotic Moon mention the tablet has a voice recognition feature, which presumably sends your location to the emergency services when any prolonged screams are suddenly cut-off, followed by the crunch of bone and metal.
Parents everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief though, as the Board of Awesomeness probably won’t go into production, so this prototype will remain a snapshot of Chaotic Moon’s engineering prowess and obvious insanity. You can see the board in action below.