Lexus' hoverboard is real but it's leaving many disappointed
This is when sci-fi becomes reality, but it has many limitations.
The hoverboard, a skateboard looking device that you can ride while it glides in the air, doesn't just belong to "Back to the Future" anymore. The movie predicted that in 2015 people would hover around on their boards, and it's actually happened.
After Japanese car manufacturer Lexus announced that their next project was not going to be a car, but the futuristic board instead, excitement and speculation about it spread like wildfire.
The quest to create this device has been a lengthy road full of unconfirmed rumors, hoaxes and stunts that made everyone even more eager to get their hands on the real thing.
This video below is an example of a fake ad that a group of celebrities -- including pro skater Tony Hawk -- made about a hoverboard with the same design as the one Marty McFly was using in the classic movie:
This is the first time we are seeing a real magnetic hoverboard being used. Lexus has released a few videos to boost the curiosity around the launch, and it worked. The device seamlessly floats over the ground and the slick design make you want to jump on one and ride off with it.
Here are all the videos that Lexus released before the launch:
According to the project's website, this is how the technology works:
While the product looks like something you can't wait to get your hands on, the few that managed to try it so far were left quite disappointed. The way it works makes it limited to a very specific "hoverboard park" rigged for its use. The magnets that make it slide without friction are completely useless on regular concrete, where the board will instantly lose its powers and become just a very good looking piece of design.
Verge journalist Sam Sheffer, who was invited to try the board in Spain a while ago, noticed that the technology is very impractical and called the whole production a marketing stunt. Here is a video with his review:
If you want to take your rideable device beyond the walls of the hoverboard park, you will need to opt for a different technology, which is still pretty cool looking, though it does not compare to a "flying board." Here are a few other options that will let you ride around on board of the latest tech:
Unfortunately, from what we've learned so far, it seems like Lexus' hoverboard is destined to just be a pretty good marketing promotion for the brand that has been using similar strategies to gain the "cool factor."
With the Lexus' hoverboard leaving many disappointed, the only hope that humanity has left for seeing a mass produced 'real' hoverboard is now Hendo, that has been experimenting with levitating technology for a while and will be ready to launch their product towards the end of 2015:
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