CES Banned Hoverboards Because Logic, But Exhibitors Aren’t Fazed
Those of you attending CES next month will be stoked to hear the annual orgy of electronics is banning hoverboards (or whatever you want to call those annoying electric scooters that are all the rage right now) from the show grounds.
This is actually an old rule applied to a new gadget. CES official policy bars personal transportation devices like scooters, Segways, skateboards, and bikes from the show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Hoverboards just made their debut on the banned list.
Anyone who’s survived CES already knows the ban makes plenty of sense. You don’t want anyone on wheels navigating 2 million square feet of convention center packed to overflowing with people and expensive electronics (crazy, right!?). But adding the year’s hottest gadget to the list of no-no’s suggests security will come down hard on rule-breakers. (We reached out to CES to ask if this year’s restrictions really just mean officials will be cracking down, but our calls haven’t been returned.)
Don’t expect that to keep exhibitors from bringing wheeled gear to the show floor, though. EcoReco, which makes rugged folding electric scooters because who doesn’t need one of those, will be there with all of its goods, including the new S3.
“Yes, we’ve also been made aware that they are cracking down,” an EcoReco rep told me. But it’s still planning to loan people scooters so they can roll to the convention center or to meetings off-site. “We’re working on a specific place for journalists to store or pick up the scooters while they are at the show.” The scooters are primarily for “last-mile” commuting between mass transit and wherever you’re going, so outdoor use best shows off its capabilities, she says.
You’d think one of the companies taking the biggest would be Hoverboard Technologies, but cofounder Punita Bigler says it isn’t so. “We have not yet even been in a show where they officially allow us to ride in the aisles,” Bigler says. “We get by.” She says the ample space outside the convention center and the fact everyone is scurrying from one venue to another works to the company’s advantage. Hoverboard Technologies has hired a small army to ride around outside, handing anyone and everyone cards directing them to the company’s booth inside. Where, by the way, there will be absolutely no way you can ride the things. But there will be a nice video of people riding them.
So prepare to dodge more scooters and boards on the sidewalks, and schedule extra time for your ride-related demos, which will most assuredly be outdoors. Where they belong.