Onewheel riding, despite its magical float feel is still grounded by the laws of physics. In the realm of this thrilling single-wheeled experience, understanding the limits of the board is paramount for every rider’s safety. To further augment this understanding, Future Motion has introduced ‘Haptic Buzz‘.
What is Haptic Buzz?
The Haptic Buzz is a “multi-modal” safety feature that engages both your sense of touch and hearing. Utilizing haptic technology, a method commonly found in the automotive and aviation industries, this feature provides riders with tactile and audible feedback. It is a sound that is not generated by a speaker but by vibrations from the hub motor.
When You’ll Experience the Haptic Buzz:
You’ll experience Haptic Buzz in three scenarios: High Speed, High Torque or Low battery/Error scenerios.
When you approach the maximum speed in your chosen digital shaping setting, you’ll feel a pulse-like vibration. If you persist despite this warning, the pulse intensifies into a solid state, indicating the need to slow down.
High Torque Situations:
Going uphill or accelerating abruptly can demand maximum torque from your one-wheel. In such scenarios, the Haptic Buzz will alert you, ensuring you’re aware of the heightened power exertion.
Low Battery or Error Conditions:
If your one-wheel is running low on battery or encounters an error, a distinctive double buzz will emanate. This signal prompts you to lean back, decelerate, and dismount to ensure your safety.=
Turning Off Haptic Buzz
While the Haptic Buzz is a default safety feature, if you are an experienced rider, you’ll probably want to shut this feature off. You never want to ignore Haptic Buzz or Pushback but if you are a long time rider, I can see how this can be a nuisance. To appease the CPSC and the notice issued out on Onewheels, Future Motion isn’t allowing this feature to be turned off unless you have completed a mileage minium and you are an ORL (Onewheel Racing League) member. While it is acknowledged that ignoring pushback or haptic buzz warnings can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities, everyday riders should have been given the option to disable it even after acknowledging several warning within the app. Who knows though, perhaps that may come out or maybe there will be a work around soon.
According to Future Motion, the requirement hasn’t been finalized as of yet. Hopefully, it could be something like a 1000 mile minimum to disable /shut off Haptic Buzz on GT, Pint X or Pint.
Which Models Area Available
Haptic buzz is available on Pint, Pint X, GT and XR. If you own one of these models, you may be affected by Future Motion’s Firmware recall. Check their page so that you can have this feature added to your Onewheel.
My Thoughts on Haptic Buzz
The Haptic Buzz is another step in the right direction. Its another safety feature. I will say that Future Motion should have this haptic be heard through the headphones and or the phone so that the phone could also vibrate in your pocket. In the event that riders have headphones on it would be a good option to have however I can see that they would in a way be supporting riding with headphones which probably isn’t the best stance to take as a company. I would like to be able to hear the feature through the headphones though or at the very least, get a haptic response from the phone as well.
Enhancing communication between the rider and the board is what we as a community need for it to grow and let new riders know that these are safer than ever. Last year I modified something very similar so that my phone also gives me haptics allowing me to reach top speeds and it does help.
This new addition not only adds value to the riding experience but also shows the Onewheel community is moving in the right direction. Future Motion has been back and forth with the CPSC to find a decent middle ground (opposed to a total recall or ban). So, for every Onewheel rider out there, we should embrace this innovation. For those seeking this additional safety measures, respect the signals your board gives you, and above all, ride safely and enjoy the trails.