whill-6[CEATEC 2014] Is it me, or do all consumer electronics that sport a certain glow look better in blue? Somehow, that looks set to be the case, and when it comes to this successfully funded Kickstarter project, the WHILL smart wheelchair, you just got to love the compact industrial design that it comes in. It is extremely compact – and heavy, of course, thanks to the internal battery, but it works as good as it looks.

Sporting an internal rechargeable battery that can last up to 20 miles, the WHILL smart wheelchair was released in the US just last month, and it is about to make its way to Japan as well. Sporting a retail price of $7,000 thereabouts, it is far from being cheap – but at least it does provide the elderly and those who are have limited mobility with a method to get around in style.

In the US, it has a maximum speed of 10mph, but over here in Japan, the local rules and regulations limit the speed to 6mph, so depending on which side of the Pacific that you reside in, the model that you purchase would have different speeds. Capable of climbing up steep slopes, it is the ideal ride if a disabled person would want to get around on his or her own easily. It has the size of a compact wheelchair, which means it should be able to fit into all disabled routes without batting an eyelid.

Not only that, the controls feel fluid and the glow of blue LEDs lend a hint of the future, while safety red lights on the sides that are also full well visible from the back make sure that you highlight your presence to others around when dusk falls.

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