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Xiaomi and Ninebot to launch smaller, cheaper Segway

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Chinese companies Xiaomi and Ninebot are to launch a smaller version of the Segway with a reassuringly small price tag.

Beijing-based Ninebot bought rival US company Segway in April of this year with the help of a £54m investment from Xiaomi, prompting rumours of a forthcoming more affordable version of the Segway device.

The result is the Ninebot mini, which looks designed to compete with others in the growing “hoverboard” market, and will go on sale for £203 ($315) in China next month.

The small two-wheeled scooter can travel 22 km (13 miles) on a single charge, travels at speeds of up to 10 mph, and weighs only 12.8 kilograms (28 pounds).

In the same way as the original Segway, steering is done with the legs and the Ninebot uses gyro stabilisation to self-balance. It can even traverse inclines of 15 degrees or less.

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Xiaomi is primarily a smartphone maker and as such has made an app to accompany the new device.

Users will be able to keep track of their speed, monitor traffic data, and update the firmware through the app.

China will be the first to get the Ninebot mini on November 3, and there's no word as yet on when the rest of the world will be able to get their hands on one.

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