In this episode, we talk to e-mobility OG, Jack Gillin, about the past, present, and future of EVs in America’s 3rd best city for cycling.
Talking to Jack Gillin is always a treat — whether it’s talking about the past, when he was doing R&D for Microsoft’s robotics division or working with the team that developed the original Segway self-balancing scooter, or about the present, working at OKAI to develop new products in the e-bike, e-scooter, and e-accessory (?) segments that use existing technology in new ways to deliver safer, more connected experiences to riders.
In this LIVE episode of the Electrify News Podcast (recorded at Electrify Expo Seattle, 2022), Jack talks infrastructure, mature technology, and the growing network of independent bike shops that support e-bike owners and riders … but that’s not the best part.
OKAI Ranger eMTB
The best part was that we got a chance to check out an early prototype of the 28 MPH, $1,999 OKAI Ranger eMTB (above), as well as a few accessories that Jack said “weren’t ready to be released, yet” but seemed really, really cool to us — but more on that, later.
In the meantime, check out this latest episode of the Electrify News Podcast, below, then head on over to the Electrify Expo page to find out how you can join in on the fun at our next events in New York, Miami, and— of course!— at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas later this year. Enjoy!
Episode 241: Jack Gillin (OKAI) Talks Urban Mobility, AI, and Smart Accessories
- We talk a bit about the original Segway in the opening remarks, and it’s absolutely impossible to overstate how much this thing was hyped when it was first released. Here’s an ABC News article from 2001, quoting supposedly smart people saying the Segway PT would be, “more important than the internet.”
- Here’s a Tweet from Seattle’s Lumen Field, talking about how the city’s investments in sustainability and infrastructure helped push it over the edge to win the big to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
- We talk about how e-bikes, once shunned by local bicycle repair shops, are gaining more and more acceptance there, allowing riders more options for support and service. Even industry giant REI is getting in on the action, advertising that they can service your e-bike at any of their 177 service locations.
- The OKAI Ranger eMTB is a great-looking bike with touchscreen display, LED lightning, and a few other clever features Jack’s not quite ready to talk about. But the Ranger isn’t OKAI’s first consumer e-bike. That honor goes to the OKAI Stride, released earlier this year.
- Jack does mention a smart helmet (about 10:45 in) that uses gestures and gyroscopes to activate brake lights, turn signals, and more— and that’s all part of the “you think left, it goes left” work that goes back twenty years to the original Segway.
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