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Spoiler alert: this rant contains a lengthy and unbearable amount of frustration venting and western-a**hole-arrogance!

Disclaimer: I’m consultant to high-tech industries. I sell hot air for a living (and to pay for gadgets). I’m in no way affiliated with any EUC manufacturer or distributor. I’m not even trying to sell my consultancy services here, as I am committed to a project running until the end of 2016. By that time, Gotway, you will be out of business if you don’t listen.

 

Dear @GotWay MCM

I have been slightly upset with you lately for your lousy customer communication (http://forum.electricunicycle.org/topic/827-worried-my-gotway-mten-purchase-may-go-sour/). You seem to have a policy to make it as difficult as possible to buy your products. That got me thinking.

You came first to give us serious high-performance EUCs. And I bet, you consider yourself a „product innovation“ company, huh? I strongly believe, there are just 3 main differentiators to achieve a sustainable position of any business in the marketplace: product innovation, customer relationship and price. If you want to be successful, you have to shine in one of those aspects and you may be mediocre in the other two.

As your treatment of customers is far from even being mediocre and your prices are above average, I guess you see „innovation“ as your strong point. Get real, Gotway!

Look at the Mten I just have so much trouble buying from you. It’s an utter design failure and you know it. Just from looking at the videos - including the ones @Jane Mo publishes for promotion - any single Mten you can spot is covered in layers and layers of foam, pads and similar provisionally contraptions. Because it’s damned near uncontrollable the way you sell it with it’s naked shell. What does that tell you, Gotway? From it’s very introduction of the first version (when? summer of 2014??), your product has been incomplete. Innovation? My a**!

Why am I trying to buy it then? Because 10-inchers is the only EUC segment, the competition did not catch up with you. Yet. 

With the other segments, 14-inchers for volume sales and 18-inchers for commuters, the competition passes you right and left. Yeah, you finally hired a designer to get the mcm3 out of the ugly-duckling-corner - big deal. That just gets you to „me-too-level“, not ahead of the pack where you need to be as an innovator, Gotway.

So, now that many EUCs don’t look like cheap toys anymore and feature decent performance, what’s left to innovate?

Sure: the weight/range ratio. Leapfrog progress on that part needs superior batteries. You’re not Tesla, dear Gotway - you are buying the batteries like all of your competitors. So: not much potential for leadership in that field for you.

The million dollar question: now that EUCs look like products, what’s keeping the „OMG, that’s sooo coool“-masses from running to the next shop and buying one? Let me be the one to tell you the obvious: convenience and fear!

Convenience: only the silliest idiots believe, they can just hop on an EUC and ride it. Everybody else expects a massive learning curve as an entry barrier - and rightfully so. It took me ages just to find the right foot position on the pedals and after 8 months riding I’m not even sure, I found the perfect place yet. Why isn’t my stupid wheel helping me learn??? All it would take are a few primitive sensors of the shelf from the next electronics store and five lines of software to tell me exactly, what I’m doing wrong and how to improve. And you, Gotway? You keep me puzzled, where is front and where is back on my GW18, arrrrrgh. 

Fear: to many casual observers, EUCs look like witchcraft, as they seem to defy any law of physics known to mankind. This mode of transport practically screams „you can hurt yourself“. We know: as long as you stay well inside a safe envelope of parameters, you don’t. That needs reliable feedback at any time, whereabouts in that envelope you presently are riding.

Do you think for just one minute, Gotway, that your silly beepers are an answer to this absolutely vital question? Hell, they don’t even adjust the volume to the environmental noise around me! My car radios do that since the age of tape recorders. Shame on you!

 

Here’s an example, of what I would consider helpful feedback: 

Me: stopping my wheel in panic. 

The pleasant Gotway voice in my ear: „That was close, Tilmann! You just used up to 92% of available breaking power. Want advice?“. 

Me: „Yes“. 

Gotway voice: „For minimum breaking distance, try leaning back in one swift motion, but not quite as far as you just did. Stay at that angle, until you almost come to a stop. Want me to say ENOUGH when you reached the right angle and UP when it’s time to go upright for a perfect stop?“. 

Me: „Yes“. 

Gotway voice: „Noted! I also prepared a breaking training session for you“. 

Me: „Later“. 

Gotway: „Ok“.

Why don’t you help me managing my fear that way, Gotway? You don’t even have to buy additional sensors for that. You already produce all the data required. Just add software (yeah, you cheap shot: and a little more processing power).

If you follow my advise Gotway, all of us „seasoned veterans“ will hate you for that, as it will allow any John-Doe-faltrate-tourist type to look as cool as we do in no time, without paying with pains and bruises as we did. But you will be still around in 2017 and sell EUCs to customers far beyond your reach today.

In case you didn’t get the wakeup call yet: in 2017 you are more than 50% a software company or Gotway will be Noway by then. Need help? Hire @esaj! He’s lightyears ahead of those plumbers programming your sorry excuse of an app.

Why do I bother telling you all that?

Because, Gotway, despite all of its shortcomings, you gave me the transport of my dreams! It’s because of you, that I begin my mornings with a bright smile, looking forward to my commute on my GW18 to work. And I really, really thank you for that gift! 

I want you to stay and I want you to be the one giving us the iWheel!

 

Love, Tilmann

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 Need help? Hire @esaj! He’s lightyears ahead of those plumbers programming your sorry excuse of an app.


@esaj is a she. 

It would be cool for an EU to give you training advice.  I might be easier through a phone app, but that would be fine with me.

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@esaj is a she. 

Nope :)

It would be cool for an EU to give you training advice.  I might be easier through a phone app, but that would be fine with me.

Doable, but not as easy as Tillman makes it sound ;)  And I must admit that I would probably have lots of problems making it voice activated, probably more like graphics in the phone screen... :rolleyes:  Plus, what would be needed is inclination data, which is going to be in hobby16's telemetry hardware, but not sent by at least Gotway or Kingsong, so braking advice couldn't be made with current data they give.

 

Edited by esaj

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OMG!  So sorry!  I thought for sure I had read that.  Plus the long hair, etc.

No problem, people make that mistake all the time ;)

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OMG!  So sorry!  I thought for sure I had read that.  Plus the long hair, etc.

I thought the same at first.....but I didn't say anything!!;);)

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Doable, but not as easy as Tillman makes it sound ;)  And I must admit that I would probably have lots of problems making it voice activated, probably more like graphics in the phone screen... :rolleyes:  Plus, what would be needed is inclination data, which is going to be in hobby16's telemetry hardware, but not sent by at least Gotway or Kingsong, so braking advice couldn't be made with current data they give.

Hey Esa - darling :wub::wub: - you're not trying to tell me, this "Ok, Gotway" dialog thing can be more effort than a coffee-brake-project, are you?? 

Ok, ok, maybe a year or two. For a development department of 10. :lol:

On a more serious note: I don't think the GW/Kingsong Bluetooth interface is anywhere near maturity and completeness yet:

  1. It's insecure. As it is, any kid with a smartphone and enough imagination to guess the 1234 pairing code can change the setting in my wheel as I'm passing by.
  2. As you said, it's incomplete. The gyro (and probably acceleration) sensor in the wheel produces tons of valuable data that is not available from the outside. 
  3. Their cardinal sin: no provision for firmware updates to the wheel (like Ninebot). You're stuck with the state it had when it left the production line.

But you guys had fun with my pipe dreams - mission accomplished :rolleyes:

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Hey Esa - darling :wub::wub: - you're not trying to tell me, this "Ok, Gotway" dialog thing can be more effort than a coffee-brake-project, are you?? 

Sure, I'll just flick my magic fingers and it's done ;)

The gyro (and probably acceleration) sensor in the wheel produces tons of valuable data that is not available from the outside. 

Now that you mentioned it, there is that 5 bytes of unknown data at the end of the voltage/speed/etc -data, which doesn't seem to change. Maybe they've either left it the "space" there to use it for further data later on, or it is the angle info... but on the other hand, it did not change even when the wheel direction changed, which means you've tilted it the other way, so probably not the angle info.

 04 18 5A 5A 5A 5A 55 AA 19 A7 FF FF 00 00 00 01 FF E0 F8 BD 00 01 FF F8 00 18 5A 5A 5A 5A 55 AA 00 09 1A 9D 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
|  <---   header  --->  |Volt |Spd  |   Trip    |Crnt |Temp |    Unknown   | <---  header  ---> | Odometer  |  Unknown, padding? Always zeroes  |

Will have to see if I get anything out of it later on, vee73 might send his GW14 to me for testing in a couple of weeks, as he needs a custom app for high speed riding on the MSuper (namely, vibration alerts only at very high speeds).

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Sure, I'll just flick my magic fingers and it's done ;)

Now that you mentioned it, there is that 5 bytes of unknown data at the end of the voltage/speed/etc -data, which doesn't seem to change. Maybe they've either left it the "space" there to use it for further data later on, or it is the angle info... but on the other hand, it did not change even when the wheel direction changed, which means you've tilted it the other way, so probably not the angle info.

I knew, I could count on you :D

Not much hope for the angle data - you would have seen that. Gyro data is incredibly sensitive. You would see the slightest change in angle immediately. I can tell from playing with such a toy: http://www.sainsmart.com/sainsmart-balancing-robot-kit.html. I have to take a look at the GW control board eventually. Chances are, they are using the very "MPU6050" sensor that's part of the robby-toy. 

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...vee73 might send his GW14 to me for testing in a couple of weeks, as he needs a custom app for high speed riding on the MSuper (namely, vibration alerts only at very high speeds).

...oh, and have vee73 sign a liability waiver before you send him your "go-break-your-neck" software! Just ask our dear @bleu9mm about that itching in his trigger finger to sue somebodies pants off :D:huh::lol:

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I have dreamed of that, the first vibrating alarm should 37kmh. Next 39kmh. That's all. Oujeah :ph34r:

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I have dreamed of that, the first vibrating alarm should 37kmh. Next 39kmh. That's all. Oujeah :ph34r:

Your phone must be a hellofa vibrator! Sometimes I don't even notice mine vibrating in a quiet meeting room ... 

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@Tilmann, complete agreement the rant, IMO GW has been complacent about safety, tilt-back at the limits ought to be in the DNA of all eWheels. 

In a thread of the 'perfect eWheel' discussed some possible ways of providing other modes of feedback to the rider, such a rising audible pitch to represent where on the reserve-power scale the rider is at, or the same information presented by top mounted colour LEDS (e.g. 100-70% reserve green, then transitions to red as it gets progressively less). 

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I doubt it will be long until we have wearable tech on our wrists with all the information we need, would be great if it also worked as a black box flight recorder, that way the so called mystery face plants could be looked into to find answers. 

 

I I guess a little like apple watch or similar, I know I'd by one. 

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