I believe design historians will look back on this period, the 2020s, with great interest. Established objects are evolving and new ones are emerging—robots, wearables, mobility devices—with form factors that are far from settled. If history holds, a lot of these experimental forms will fall by the wayside as the market coalesces around a winner; if not, our future will be filled with a variety of shapes. Either way it's a good time to be a designer with an experimental mentality.
The latest experimental take on an established form factor I've spotted is this:
That's a stand-on electric scooter with a cargo bin. Canadian startup Scootility reckons there will be market demand for their eponymous scooter, which is mechanically simpler than an e-bike but boasts the same compactness/maneuverability, while also offering 140 liters of lockable storage.
The company says the cargo boxes and the deck-mounted battery packs will be easily swappable, allowing a delivery rider to return to base and quickly load up for another run.
The handlebars fold down to reduce height for storage, and there's a tiny storage compartment under the stem.
"With ample cargo capacity in a compact form that threads through congestion and that's easy to park, the utility scooter is a perfect fit for rapid urban deliveries of meals, groceries, and other items. It's also ideal for staff on campuses, technicians for service providers, emergency responders in congested urban environments, and a wide range of other use cases in corporate and institutional fleets."
Thus far the Scootility is more than a concept, but far from production-ready; the company has partnered up with Toronto-based Engineering Design Lab and Amsterdam-based industrial design firm Springtime, and together they've produced two prototypes. The company is now seeking the funds to go further.
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