For many years it the received wisdom about Japanese industrial "innovation" that really all Japan was any good at was taking Western products and making them smaller (and later rather better) than their Western rivals. It was true of their bikes, consumer electronics and even cars.
That was a long time ago now, and genuine innovation in many areas (hybrid vehicles, Wii and BrainTraining), and remarkable abilities to miss entire markets repeatedly (can ANY Japanese manufacturer manage an MP3 player that isn't a dull "me-too" clone?) have buried that notion.
So its a breathtaking return to form that sees Toyota, in cahoots with Sony, produce these fantastic mini-Segways.
For me, the problem with Segways was always that the massive bulky shape of the chic uber-scooter was clearly the product of a mind that was oblivious to public transport.
Imagine trying to use a Segway to cruise three miles up hill and down dale across a city like Bristol. In late Autumn. In the rain. Not going to happen for so many reasons.
But if I could throw it in the luggage rack on the train, or as long as I could be sure no nutters would sit next to me, on the bus, then use it just at either end - exactly as the designers at Toyota would no doubt be thinking, then we have a winner. Brilliant.
Thanks to Mari for bringing this one to my attention.