Newton, MA —Everyone in the world is talking about Dean Kamen's new invention, Ginger. Everyone except Kamen of course. Voted Design News' seventh Engineer of the Year for his work developing drug infusion pumps—among other things—Kamen has only released a statement saying that he can't say anything about the super-secret project, but that it isn't "earth shattering." Everything else is hearsay. However, since that's all we have...
Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, has reportedly said that the device will be as significant as the PC. Investor Credit Suisse First Boston is quoted as having said the device will make Kamen wealthier than Bill Gates in five years. Meetings "about how cities, companies, and campuses can be retro-fitted for Ginger" will probably be necessary, according to Steve Kemper, the journalist charged with writing a book about the man and his machine.
More reasonable guesses include a Stirling Engine-powered personal scooter—definitely a little shy of earth-shattering.
Rumblings about a mysterious project date as far back as March 7, 1994, when Design News interviewed Kamen. "I can tell you this much," he said, "Everything I've done so far in my life will be insignificant if this project is successful." He may have been referring to Ginger or his remarkable new transportation invention the iBot™—a wheelchair that can negotiate sand, stand on two wheels, and resist tipping over through a dizzying collection of gyroscopes, electric motors, and computers.
Over the years, Kamen has assembled a veritable Oz of engineers, technicians, and machinists at his Manchester, NH based company, Deka Research & Development Corp. Want a peek behind the curtain? According to the book proposal, the world will have to wait until 2002 when Ginger is expected to make her grand entrance.