Hoverboards are set to be a popular gift this Christmas, as retailers report a surges in sales of ‘self balancing scooters’.
Despite the fact that they are now illegal to ride in public, since the Crown Prosecution Service issued the notice on Sunday (October 11th), ApplianceDirect.co.uk has received a 215 per cent increase in sales of their G-Board self-levelling scooter.
“Within just 24 hours of the CPS’ statement on the use of G-Boards, we have seen a huge boost in traffic to the website and sales rise by 215 per cent,” commented Mark Kelly, marketing manager at AppliancesDirect.co.uk.
So it seems the official ban has drawn more media attention to hoverboards, which in turn is actually having a positive effect on sales.
“We have experienced a staggering amount of sales already, with the gadget’s new status and the media coverage of the CPS statement making it even more popular. The G-Board has become a social media phenomenon with tens of thousands of posts using various hoverboard hashtags to date,” said Kelly.
“The craze looks to continue ahead of Back to the Future Day on 21st October, as people look to recreate Marty McFly’s famous vehicle.”
Even though these hoverboards are becoming an increasingly common site on the UK streets, they are now banned – along with Segways – under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835 for use on public pavements and roads in the UK.
“You can only ride an unregistered self-balancing scooter on land which is private property and with the landowner's permission. The Department for Transport would advise that appropriate safety clothing should be worn at all times,” reads CPS’ Road Traffic Offences legal guidance.
But Kelly added: “The archaic 180-year-old law is hugely outdated. The booming popularity of hoverboards and developments in technology means this need to be reviewed and modernised with the rise in safe, small motorised gadgets becoming commonplace."
Despite this, the firm is encouraging consumers to follow the law and has also set up a testing area in one showroom.
“G-Boards are just as much fun used indoors, outside in the back garden or on private land. We have also created a safe testing area for customers at our Huddersfield showroom to get to grips with the G-Board,” explained Kelly.
As well as AppliancesDirect, a number of other retailers are already also on board with selling the gadgets, including Amazon, eBay, and even gaming retailer 365games.
Hoverboards and Segways aren’t the only futuristic gadgets that might get consumers in trouble with the law. Earlier this week, we reported that UK police have noticed a sharp spike in drone-related incidents over the past year.
As well as criminals using drones to transport drugs and take photographs of people, there are laws that innocent consumers need to abide by as well - read more about drone laws here.
In other tech sales news, analysts have reveals that mobile phones remain the most prolific consumer electronics devices on the planet, as more than two billion unites are set to be sold this year alone.
CCS believes this is down to a huge rise in 4G adoption, predicting that 770 million 4G handsets will be sold by the end of the year.