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New Samsung-powered hoverboard won't blow up (says its designer)

Technically Incorrect: The makers of the all-terrain Kiwano say they turned to Samsung batteries and components to help them create a safe (and apparently legal) hoverboard.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Is this the breakthrough your nerves have been waiting for?

Kiwano screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Ever since Russell Crowe's kids weren't allowed to take their hoverboards on a plane, I've been wondering whether he'll ever be happy.

Many airlines ban hoverboards, as they deem them unsafe. This miffed the great actor enormously.

Now along comes the designer of a new hoverboard who claims this one won't explode, as too many have before.

It's called Kiwano and the breakthrough, according to designer Juan Contreras, is to use to Samsung batteries and components.

Contreras, a former Vapor Shark engineer who lives in Miami, believes that using Samsung's 18650 lithium Ion battery cell and other Samsung circuitry will reassure buyers. He claims that this is the first time Samsung technology has been used in a hoverboard.

I'm not entirely convinced he's a safety freak, however.

"I created Kiwano because there wasn't a fun all-terrain scooter available that I could hit South Beach with then sit back and enjoy some music," he told me. "It was time to create the Jeep of self-balancing scooters."

Of course it was.

And then it's not a good look when you're hoverboarding down Ocean Drive and flames begin to engulf you, while tourists scoff toast at the News Cafe and then scoff at you for getting charred.

You, though, might still be skeptical. Yes, just like me. After all, some hoverboards currently on the market have been subject to federal bans after allegedly infringing on Segway patents.

Contreras insists he has a license agreement with the patent owner Shane Chen, as well as the new UL 2272 certification which allows his company to to import.

And then he made a claim brimming with even more bulging bravado.

"This is the first scooter that will be available for the US market that passes all safety regulations," he told me.

Oh, I feel sure Russell Crowe hopes so, but can this really be true? The Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned that while individual components might be certified as safe, this doesn't mean the whole contraption is.

And I can't wait for the rough-riding testers to get hold of the Kiwano and shake it about a bit.

Still, you may well be terribly excited about all this. Personally, I'm dreading it.

This Kiwano contraption isn't merely all-terrain. It also comes with a built-in speaker, through which you can play your music wirelessly.

This means a veritable apocalypse for my beloved South Beach, one even worse than spring break.

People with overly sculpted bodies will now roll along the sand on these things. They will blare their music even louder than the sensitive souls who still, still bring their boom-boxes to the beach because they just know you want to listen to their playlists.

Progress. It just isn't what it used to be.