The range does suck at the moment, but battery technology is growing at an exponential rate. So hopefully we can get a upgarde battery in the future. But what you can do with a onewheel makes up for it than any other rideable .
I believe FM has stated their patent is in regards to this form factor with the motor in the hub. I know there are other self balancing patents but I believe those were specified as powered by a motor not in the wheel hub. That's my guess anyways.
If I'm just messin around my home I wont have my gear on, but if I'm going on the off road course or any other long distance I will. Helmet and wrist guards. I try to wear gear as much as possible. There's really no excuse. My friend who went down, wouldn't have been hurt if he wore wrist guards or a helmet.
I had a skateboarder backtrack after seeing me and say, "hey, is there any way I can try that?" After talking to him for a couple minutes I gave him a quick tutorial and he did very well. Once I told him how fast it can go, he got a little nervous and slowed down.
I say, just use your best judgement. I like to talk to people first. Just casually introduce myself, get their name. Just a little info about them. A lot of people just want to take a picture or video. Generally very positive response!
I did let my good friend on it and he spilled pretty hard without any gear on, leaving him with a little road rash.
Passing dogs on the street - most don't care, some are curious but a few just go completely crazy like I'm about to kill everything they hold dear in this world. Incredibly aggressive. Fortunately this is the rare reaction.
Regular, I ride sensor in the rear. I have a snowboarding background and am used to taking my rear snowboarding binding off and scooting. My front foot on my snowboard always remains bound in the entire time I am on the mountain so it becomes part of the board in my mind. If I started to lose my balance on my snowboard in the lift queue it was always my rear that moved to save because front is immobile.
When I started riding OneWheel and I had to bail I found that I would always take my rear foot off the board, my brain was trained from snowboarding to think that my front foot was stuck and couldn't move.
If you are going to find yourself in a situation with only one foot on the board it had better not be your sensor foot.
Riding in heavy crowds is the least fun. You have to be supremely confident of your balance and be able to maintain a dead stop without drifting as people will get way too close and if you lose your balance you are going to slam a 25lb board into their legs. Also you have to be able to come to a dead stop nearly instantly. People don't look where they are going and will walk/run right in front of you.
Happened to me tonight, someone staring at a mobile phone walked right in front of me. I had to stop without rolling backwards because a person was right behind me, closer than they wanted to be because I had suddenly stopped dead. Then hold position while they either move on (or realize how close they were to getting hit and panic freeze) so you have to be able to hold it.
I used to dismount at traffic lights, now I stay on the board for the practice. After a while you get confident enough to move with crowds but initially it is nerve wracking because of the risk of hitting someone.