Much-hyped 'Ginger' may be motorized scooter
NEW YORK (Reuters) -- The mystery invention code-named "Ginger" that has
set the U.S. technology world abuzz may be little more than a motorized
mini-scooter, judging from a recent patent application that came to light on Friday.
A December 14, 2000, filing with the World Intellectual Property Organization
available on the Internet describes a "class of transportation vehicles for carrying
an individual over ground ... that is unstable with respect to tipping when ... not
This "personal mobility vehicle" pictures what appears to be a young girl
balanced on a two-wheeled scooter. The patent application by millionaire
inventor Dean Kamen and six co-inventors fits descriptions made in broadcast
reports by people claiming to have seen prototypes of the vehicle.
Harvard Business School Press is said to have paid $250,000 for a book detailing
"IT" that is set to be unveiled in 2002 by Kamen, creator of devices such as a
portable insulin pump and a wheelchair that climbs stairs. The invention is said to
take just 10 minutes to assemble using simple tools, according to details from the
book proposal published by media industry watchers Inside.com.
Ginger could cost less than $2,000 a piece. Top computer industry leaders and
investment bankers were named as backers, Inside.com said.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Kamen, 49, declined to reveal much on the
device other than saying: "While our projects are in the development phase and
have client confidentiality requirements, it is impossible for us to comment further."
Kamen and his company, Manchester, New Hampshire-based DEKA Research,
did not return calls on Friday seeking comment on the patent application.
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"That package looks like what I wanted, but the site was down today, so I decided to reimplement it in Perl." -me
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