ABC News believes that it has discovered a picture of the new secret invention code-named Ginger, otherwise known as “IT,” in patent documents filed by DEKA Research, the company of inventor Dean Kamen, who’s record includes revolutionary wheelchairs, heart valves and many other valuable inventions.
It seems to be a kind of personal scooter, and a recent patent search would appear to support this. The patent states that the device is designed to move the individual over irregular surfaces and that it uses “a motorized drive mounted to the assembly and coupled to the ground-contacting module.”
Bob Metcalf, a computer engineer who says he has seen the invention, refuses to confirm that this drawing represents the true identity of Ginger. He does say, “I’ve seen it, and it is ? more important than pantyhose and it’smore important than the Internet.”
As described in the patent, the device is not by any means “more important than the internet.” If the product is indeed revolutionary, then it must be that the “motorized drive” is in some way efficient and cheap enough to replace the internal combustion engine.
Speculation has ranged from a cheap, room-temperature superconducting magnet that would enable some form of levitation above a grid implanted in streets, to a new kind of flywheel mechanism that transmits energy with near 100% efficiency, enabling long periods of use with very little expenditure of effort.
However, it is also possible that an even more revolutionary power source is involved. If not, then this is an interesting invention with lots of hype associated with it.
For the ABC News story, click here.
To read the DEKA Research patent that appears closest to the possible device, click here.
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