Ever since that fateful movie (I'm looking at you Back to the Future II) we've all been pretty obsessed by hoverboards. They've become a symbol of a future pedalled in fiction arriving in reality. And now we're one step closer to actually riding one thanks to a Californian couple and a tech company called Arx Pax.
Jill and Greg Henderson have launched a Kickstarter campaign for Hendo Hoverboards offering the expectant promise of "the world's first REAL hoverboard," for the bargain of $10,000. The video for the Kickstarter features a kid in a lab coat floating about on the board on a half pipe while proclaiming wondrously "It's real."
Here's how it works:
The magic behind the hoverboard lies in its four disc-shaped hover engines. These create a special magnetic field which literally pushes against itself, generating the lift which levitates our board off the ground.
Sean Buckley from Engadget got to try the board out for himself:
I initially approached the floating pallet with caution, expecting it to dip and bob under my weight like a piece of driftwood. It didn't. The levitating board wiggled slightly under my 200-pound frame, but maintained its altitude (a mere inch or so) without visible strain. Arx Pax tells me that the current prototype can easily support 300 pounds and future versions will be able to hold up to 500 pounds without issue.
At the moment the board can only levitate over non-ferrous surfaces like copper, aluminum or zinc, meaning you can't take it for a ride down the street just yet—not unless the streets become paved with zinc.
But they do have a solution, which is to build special hoverparks (below) where you could use the board. How frikkin' cool would that be?
To give the technology the best chance it can get they're also offering developer kits called The Whitebox. If you give $299 you get the kit and can start playing around with the hover engine and creating your own hover objects.
The companies goal is to hit $250,000 by December 14—they already have $224,000 and counting so it's highly unlikely that won't be reached. People want hoverboards, it's that simple.
The company hope to deliver the first set of production line Hendo Hoverboards by October 21 2015. Better start saving.