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Magic Wheels

October 11, 2004
By Brian Calvert

Audio : KOMO 1000 NEWS
A new invention could revolutionize the way that the disabled get around. And as KOMO's Brian Calvert reports, it was created right here in Seattle.
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SEATTLE - For the last eight years, inventor Steve McGuiness has been working on a wheel...a magic wheel.

"It's definitely a 'feel-good' project," McGuiness says.

For the last one hundred years, wheel chairs have had only one gear. Now, thanks to Steve's diligence, they have two.

The new invention is called Magic Wheels, and marketing director Barry Long says you change gears by turning part of the wheel.

But why would you want a second gear on your manual wheelchair? Ever try to get up a hill in one? Barry compares it to riding a bike up Queen Anne.

"You're in tenth gear, and you get to that hill. (On a bike) you just drop it down. And that's what this does."

Barry should know, he's been in a wheel chair for well over a decade.

He adds, Magic Wheels includes an automatic brake. When you're in second going up a hill, you won't roll backwards.

Magic Wheels, adaptable to nearly any brand of wheelchair in production, is expected to be on the market in January.

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