Whill’s new electric wheelchair is fast, light, portable, and available now

Power mobility device maker Whill is kicking the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) off in style with the debut of its stylish new Model Ci electric wheelchair — a newer, lighter, more versatile model of its already impressive accessibility vehicle. Called the Model Ci, Whill’s stylish new personal electric vehicle is about as far from the antiquated scooters and wheelchairs of yesteryear as a Tesla Model X is from a box cart.

The Model Ci packs a lithium-ion battery allowing it to travel 10 miles on a single charge, with top speeds of five miles per hour, meaning the equivalent of a gentle jogging speed. Navigation is primarily carried out using a joystick in the right armrest, although you can also make like you’re James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies and drive it using a smartphone. (You can additionally use your smartphone to check how much battery you have left.)

It’s not just the control mechanism that’s smooth, either. The Model Ci features specially designed “omni-wheels” which employ multiple rollers for a powerful drive its creators describe as a “glide,” letting you navigate proficiently whether you’re on undulating city streets, off-road terrain, or just maneuvering in the comfort of your own home.

“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,” Satoshi Sugie, CEO of Whill and a former Nissan designer, said in a statement. “The result is not just freedom of mobility, but freedom from the self-consciousness often associated with a wheelchair or scooter.”

Another impressive feature of the lightweight Model Ci, which tips the scales at just 115 pounds, is its ability to easily break into three modular components for easy packing in the back of a car. Last but not least is the fact that, unlike so many of the exciting products and innovations we cover at CES each year, there is no lengthy wait for the Whill Model Ci. It is available now for $4,000.

With that combination of pluses in its corner, it’s no wonder the Whill Model Ci has already scooped up a 2018 Best of CES Innovation Award.

Emerging Tech

Robots expected to replace some five million jobs by 2020

A "Fourth Industrial Revolution," characterized by unprecedented "developments in genetics, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing, and biotechnology," may soon be upon us, replacing five million jobs by 2020.
Emerging Tech

Toshiba’s robot arms called in to help with hazardous Fukushima clean-up

A variety of robots have so far helped out inside the debris-strewn and radiation-filled reactor buildings of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. The latest, from Toshiba, is a giant, remotely operated three-armed crane designed to handle…
Emerging Tech

Adidas unveils eye-catching laceless soccer shoe for better ball control

If you can put the dazzling color to one side for a moment, then these new laceless soccer shoes from Adidas are sure to impress. The company says it designed the shoes for players keen for a clean, more accurate strike of the ball.
Mobile

Elliptic Labs wants to replace the proximity sensor on your phone with ultrasound

Elliptic Labs unveiled its Beauty ultrasound proximity sensor technology that will let you control your phone via hand gestures, without the need for optical proximity sensors found in most smartphones today.
Emerging Tech

British astronaut Tim Peake demonstrates how to make coffee in space

It's the little luxuries like coffee that are perhaps the hardest to come by when you're living large in the International Space Station, but in a new video British astronaut Tim Peake shows us how they make do.
Health & Fitness

The FDA wants medical device manufacturers to be proactive about cybersecurity

To address the potential dangers of connected medical devices, the FDA has recently released a draft guidance aimed at helping medical device manufacturers keep their patients safe and the public health protected.
Emerging Tech

Print, Puff, Pass: This Washington-based startup uses 3D printing to make glass bongs

PrintABowl has released a limited edition set of 3D printed water bongs that are both beautiful and fully functional. The company is based in Washington, where recreational marijuana use was legalized in 2012.
Smart Home

Print selfies onto your next coffee shop latte with the Ripple Maker app

The new Ripple Maker app lets you turn photos and messages into fully customizable latte art. The Ripple Maker machine can print any image in a Coffee Scale version into the foam of your latte or cappuccino.
Mobile

Bye bye Wi-Fi: iOS code hints Apple may switch to super fast Li-Fi on future iPhones

Who wants faster data? Well, say hello to Li-Fi. It uses LEDs instead of radio frequencies to transmit data. It's up to 100 times faster than Wi-Fi, and it could be coming to future iPhones.
Emerging Tech

North Korea has (allegedly) engineered the world’s first hangover-free alcohol

From discovering a long lost unicorn lair to developing the cure for AIDS, North Korea adds to its long list of (questionable) accomplishments by announcing it's created hangover-free alcohol.
Smart Home

The Prepd Pack lunchbox will do everything but make your lunch

It's time to start eating healthier at lunch. The Prepd Pack is the lunchbox re-imagined with its removable modular containers, magnetic cutlery, and a companion app for all your meal planning.
Smart Home

Amazon begins selling devices and appliances that order their own supplies

Amazon on Tuesday activated its Dash Replenishment Service, a system that allows compatible smart devices around the home to reorder supplies so you don't have to. That's right, you'll be ordering stuff without even knowing about it.
Mobile

Australia’s the latest to hype up 5G, says it wants the network operational in 2020

Vodafone Australia has joined a growing list of organizations that are looking for a 5G network launch by 2020. The carrier has said Australia has a strong track record of adoption new technologies, and 5G should be no different.
Emerging Tech

‘Drones are more like horses than cars’ – Amazon exec talks Prime Air

Amazon has offered up new tidbits on its Prime Air drone. The company says it's actually developing several different drones to cope with different environments across the U.S., and that its sense-and-avoid tech means it'll be more like a…