We all remember that movie Back to the Future II and the amazing hoverboard that Marty McFly rode around on. The idea of a real working hoverboard is perhaps not so unimaginable now as it was when that movie was released, but still we don’t see anyone riding around on hoverboards yet do we? In fact, the skateboard hasn’t changed that much since that movie was released. But with all the huge advances in technology and design over the last couple of decades, would it really be that unthinkable for a working hoverboard to be created now, in 2015? According to Lexus it is just a matter of when, not if. Check out this next teaser for a glimpse of what all the fuss is about.
Ok, so we don’t actually get to see the hoverboard in action, yet. This thing is still very much being kept under wraps, and Lexus are giving away next to nothing about what we can expect next. That said, there is a bit more that we can give you to try and make sense of it all.
How it Works
The stark reality of this hoverboard is that it isn’t quite like the one in Back to the Future II. Pushing off into thin air and gliding over your regular sidewalk or jumping over cars just isn’t going to happen. What this board relies on is magnets. To make it overly simple for you, a magnet under the ground and a magnet in the board allows it to hover, and so the board can only follow the path of magnets laid beneath the ground. A bit of an optical illusion if you will, and to delve deeper means freshening up on your physics, but here goes any way.
Using superconductors and magnets, the Lexus hoverboard works in a similar principle to the maglev trains used in Shanghai’s Transrapid system, trains that can reach in excess of 300 miles per hour. So in effect, if you paved all the sidewalks, or an entire skatepark, you could skate freely on this hoverboard, because it uses superconductors. The smoke you see coming from the board in the video is not smoke, but instead liquid nitrogen that is cooling the superconductors in the board to below their transition temperature, which is -321 degrees Fahrenheit if you care to know.
What is Next
It seems that Lexus are taking this thing to the next level, by building their very own skatepark complete with metal magnetic track built just below the surface. The site of the skatepark is a village called Cubelles, which is just outside of Barcelona. A Spanish website reported that construction is still underway and the site is being guarded 24 hours a day. It looks like the rider of this hoverboard will be able to carve across a wave-styled ramp and even jump a set of stairs.
Wait and See
Before you get your hopes up, Lexus are not likely to mass produce this hoverboard, and what is worse it that it seems the whole thing is just an elaborate viral advertising campaign for one of their cars! But still, we’ll keep you posted on progress and let you know when this sweet looking hoverboard is finally put through its tracks.