It’s 2015, the year that Back to the Future promised us hoverboards. Lexus is claiming to have developed a real hoverboard, but is this just a viral marketing campaign?
There have been many attempts a making the hoverboard, but no mass-produced efforts as of yet. Last year, Arx Pax showed off its hoverboard model called the Hendo board. Then there have been vehicles powered by water or leaf blowers that have declared themselves to be “hoverboards.” And what about that hoax hoverboard that had Tony Hawk flying all around with Christopher Lloyd at his side for a Funny Or Die video? There have been hoverbikes, but no real hoverboards.
Then there’s the whole physics of the hoverboard. We’ve seen toys that can’t handle the weight of an actual human. They rely on strong magnets to levitate and the devices could only float above a special magnetic surface. For these reasons and because viral marketing is now heavily relied upon, I am cautiously skeptical as for right now, but Lexus states that the device is the “first real, rideable hoverboard.”
The Lexus hoverboard is called the “SLIDE” and it defies gravity an inch above the ground on what appears to be a regular sidewalk. The project is part of the “Actions in Motion” series by Lexus, which showcases new technologies that the car manufacturer is working on.
So far we only have a teaser video and it does not show anyone actually ride on the floating mechanism. The prototype is as beautiful as Lexus vehicles, featuring a metallic bottom and natural bamboo furnished on the top of the board.
Lexus claims that it achieves its magnetic lift through liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and permanent magnets, which explains the foggy mist coming off the freezing magnets.
Lexus said that this project has been in development for over 18 months by teams in both Germany and London. The SLIDE is currently being tested by a professional skateboarder in Barcelona. There is no word yet on when the device will go on sale to the public.
Dear Lexus, my emotions are not to be toyed with. So please, if you really aren’t developing a true hoverboard and this is just some marketing gimmick come forth and all will be forgiven.
Will science finally fulfill it’s density, I mean destiny and give us a real hoverboard like Marty McFly cruised on in Back to the Future 2? Will we finally be able to quickly escape from future punks on land and water? And will we finally get power laces on sneakers? Let’s hope so.