November 29, 2001
12:12 PM   Subscribe

Although there is no mention on Good Mornins America's website, according to this article, Diane Sawyer announced that they would reveal Dean Kamen's intensely hyped invention on Monday, December 3rd. Perhaps it will actually deserve to have been listed as one of the best inventions of 2001 by Time Magazine.
posted by UrbanFigaro (22 comments total)
damn urban you *just* beat me to posting this =] oh well.. finally the mystery will be revealed and we'll see if this really does change the world. cool shit like this is a refreshing change to "AMERICAS NEW WAR" being blurted on every channel.
posted by manero at 12:19 PM on November 29, 2001

Did anyone catch the South Park parody of "IT"/Ginger in the form of Mr. Garrison's IT machine to get revenge on the airline industry? It was hilarious.
posted by dnash at 12:22 PM on November 29, 2001

I assumed that link has been slashdotted/mefied/plasticed/farked, because I can't get to it without timing out.
posted by eyeballkid at 12:27 PM on November 29, 2001

Although there is no mention on Good Mornins America's website

There is now, but via a Mail form where you take a guess at what you think "IT" is.
posted by Sal Amander at 12:40 PM on November 29, 2001

I thought Ginger was the iPod. Apparently not.
posted by arf at 12:45 PM on November 29, 2001

Did anyone catch the South Park parody of "IT"/Ginger..? It was hilarious.

And so very painful to watch.
posted by KLAX at 12:59 PM on November 29, 2001

Here's a movie of what ginger could be.

Pretty interesting, but unless he discovered alien life (or Osama), everyone will be disappointed.
posted by jragon at 1:17 PM on November 29, 2001

jragon, if that's "it" then you can count me out. A six wheeled machine that climbs stairs doesn't seem too stable to me. But, hell, what do I know? I ain't no famous publici . . .errr inventor.
posted by jeremias at 1:56 PM on November 29, 2001

Kamen applied for a patent on October 25th of this year with all manner of drawings of one, two, three and more wheeled scooter devices included.

While it's an exciting document, some are theorizing that the wide range of devices applied for are to protect his concept -- which could be one, many, or none of the technologies being patented. (Link from cnet.

The only thing for certain is that the hype and rumor mills of last spring are starting to ramp up again.
posted by fnirt at 2:19 PM on November 29, 2001

Kamen certainly cannot be faulted for gaining and using publicity, a dash of showmanship with innovative engineering is a perfect combination (history can point to Edison and Tesla as two inventors who really used drama to the fullest). I know a couple of talented engineers who do not possess marketing or salesmanship skills and thus have to fight harder to get the attention of angel investors.

The video here shows Kamen's wheelchair in action, it's quite cool.
posted by MJoachim at 2:27 PM on November 29, 2001

I don't know what IT is, but I really like this possible interpretation.
posted by MegoSteve at 2:28 PM on November 29, 2001

I'd like to thank you all for not pointing and laughing at my typo.
posted by UrbanFigaro at 3:08 PM on November 29, 2001

I think Inside magazine figured Ginger out in March.
They were on CNBC. (RealMedia link)
posted by culberjo at 4:28 PM on November 29, 2001

Another marketing scam that gets the clueless and gullible mainstream media to fall all over itself.

posted by zeb vance at 4:56 PM on November 29, 2001

FWIW, this is probably the real mccoy. About a month ago, a good friend of mine (no, not Steve Jobs) was flown to New Hampshire to work on video press materials for IT. It would make sense for them to be ready right about now.
posted by thebigpoop at 5:44 PM on November 29, 2001

Ginger hype has long since surpassed past any possible realistic coolness. I won't be able to help but be dissapointed, no matter what it is.
posted by dr_emory at 6:13 PM on November 29, 2001

Since you've already decided to be disappointed, I'd love to see you smacked down by a viable zero-emission engine. I'm not holding my breath, though.

I'd be happy with a slick scooter.
posted by UrbanFigaro at 6:27 PM on November 29, 2001

Oh, here's a picture of Ginger or IT or whatever it is called...
posted by paddbear at 10:10 PM on November 29, 2001

I was attending an ASME conference in New York about two weeks ago that featured Dean Kamen as one of the speakers. He went through and spoke of the iBot a bit but mostly about his FIRST organization. We then came to a question and answer session. One fellow asked if Mr. Kamen could discuss any new products/inventions/etc. He began telling us about a portable, closed-system Sterling engine that could run on virtually any available fuel. I've got a strong feeling that's ginger.

If you think about all of DEKA's previous efforts, they've been concentrated on applications that better one's life. The one-wheeled scooter thingy is just silly when you think of Mr. Kamen's motivations.
posted by crustbuster at 7:32 AM on November 30, 2001

Could this be IT!? I just hope amazon honors the reserve list I signed up for back in March. I need an upgrade from my latest ride.
posted by roboto at 1:31 PM on November 30, 2001

Okay, I think I may actually have something interesting here: the original leaked book proposal that started this whole thing. The best part is the meeting with Jobs and Bezos. Words like "revolutionary" and "innovative" fly fast and hard. Here, ladies and gentlemen, is the source of all the quotes about how people would have to "architect cities around it" and such.

Reading it, I get the feeling that these guys talk that way all the time, about everything. You could put them in a room with any household object, a bowl of corn flakes, a paperclip, anything, and they would start pontificating about how it was "revolutionary", going to "change the world", etc. Heh, no wonder they got mad about those quotes getting leaked (claiming they were "taken out of context").
posted by Potsy at 9:47 PM on November 30, 2001

Here's the latest info, courtesy of Drudge. "IT" or "Ginger" is now called... The Segway.

From the link:

Developed at a cost of more than $100 million, Kamen's vehicle is a complex bundle of hardware and software that mimics the human body's ability to maintain its balance. Not only does it have no brakes, but also no engine, no throttle, no gearshift, and no steering wheel. And it can carry the average rider for a full day, nonstop, on only five cents' worth of electricity.

How do ya like them apples?
posted by David Dark at 6:43 PM on December 2, 2001

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