That's right: don't call it a hoverboard. In fact, they're not so fond of the term. Everything about their electric rideable is different from traditional hoverboards (from where they were made to how they were made and how they maneuver).
I was fortunate to have a chance to briefly catch up with them amidst the excitement of their Kickstarter launch and ask them a few questions.
Here is a piece of our conversation:
John White: Mark, after others failed and had huge safety issues with fires and bad accidents, what made you want to get involved in the rideable industry?
Mark Cuban: (investor at Radical Transport): I thought the original boards were junk, that a board with style and a feel like a snowboard, originally designed and constructed in the USA, would crush it.
What makes Moov different from the failed boards in the past?
EJ Williams (engineer and co-founder at Radical Transport): We don't deny that hoverboards got a bad rep over the past year. There are many reasons for those issues, but it really boils down to the fact that no individual company was producing hoverboards.
They were all being produced in mom-and-pop shops in China, having different stickers slapped on them, and being sold to America with absolutely no responsible quality control or even liability back to a single company.
We've developed the Moov over the past year and a half with meticulous attention to detail and testing. We are also undergoing the highest level of certification you can achieve for a hoverboard: UL2272.
But in terms of the market, we definitely don't think hoverboards were a fad. They were the first popular product in a brand-new market called "rideables." This would include any light electric vehicle that you can pick up. Or portable mobility device, as another way to say it.
As well, we are aware people will be comparing us to the traditional hoverboards already on the market. But, really, you need to be comparing us to other premium, American-made rideables. This includes products like Onewheel, boosted boards, and Urb-E.
The rideable market is growing. There's no denying that.
How do you think the Kickstarter will do?
Ishan Goel (marketing strategist at Radical Transport): This is what the market has been waiting for and I know for a fact this will be a successful Kickstarter right off the bat. The market stops caring about price sometimes when it finds excellent quality.
Your boards are produced here in the U.S., and it seems that was a big priority for the company. Can you tell us a little bit about why it was so important that your boards be made in the USA?
E.J.W.: Since day one, Mark demanded that this board be made in America as much as possible. You'll notice he takes this approach with every one of his companies, and we're proud to follow suit.
Beyond the obvious quality and IP concerns that go along with outsourcing manufacturing, we truly wanted to give business to American workers and keep our dollars within the U.S. economy. We'll always choose an American supplier over a foreign one, even if it's not the most affordable route.
As a marketer, I'm particularly interested to hear what message Moov plans to send out to the market to overcome the negative experiences consumers may have had with other boards.
I.G.: Hoverboards come with a very infamous vibe, and some may go as far as saying the trend is dead. With this product, we have to overcome history and prove to the market that this board is not only safe but reliable and incredibly fun to use.
To this day, we have not seen a hoverboard built to this caliber of quality and craftsmanship, and that is what sets us apart from all the cheap plastic toys that took the market down a few months ago.
How is the mobility of the board? Will people really be able to ride these things to work?
E.J.W.: Moov is actually a great combo of utility and recreation. So, yes, people could definitely ride this to work, but we would not classify ourselves as purely a last-mile device for a few reasons.
The first being: Riding the Moov is very fun. Almost a sport of its own, once you get good at the board.
Second: The board has weight-based steering. So (as we mentioned earlier) the riding experience is similar to skiing or rollerblading. So if someone is capable of rollerblading to work, then the person will easily be able to Moov to work. Just takes some skill.
There are some additional features on Moov that make it unique from any other board ever made. What can you tell us about the "extra features" that really add to the cool factor of Moov?
E.J.W.: Every feature that we were able to put into Moov stems from the fact it's a solid platform design.
The sleek look of the board is due to its lack of a swivel in the middle that all previous hoverboards had. That mechanism requires the board to come to an hourglass shape in the middle. We had a world of possibilities in terms of what to make this board look like.
The integrated handle makes carrying Moov much, much easier than anything else on the market. Once again, this would not have been possible if there was a swivel mechanism there.
Our swappable decks allow for cool personalization of the board. We have many neat deck designs we're offering and plan to offer tons more. Similar to getting cool grip tape designs on your skateboard deck, you'll be able to personalize Moov with your own artwork in the future.
And of course, the sportier Torsion to Turn steering provides a whole different experience when riding. All because of the solid platform.
Oh, and we don't infringe on Shane Chen's infamous hoverboard patent.
We also allow for customization within your riding style. Just as a skateboarder would tighten or loosen their trucks to steer differently, the Moov can be personalized to an individual's preferred riding style. This is all done through the Radical Transport app.
Through this app, riders can customize the LED lights to their choosing as well.
Mark Cuban was adamant that his board is unlike any rideable the world has ever seen. The quality of the board will be immediately apparent to consumers, which will distance Moov from previous hoverboards.
Moov's Kickstarter campaign is running through July 13th.