The Lexus Hoverboard
When talking about all the future tech that has been immortalized in Hollywood films over the decades, nothing seems to captured sci-fi nerds (admittingly one myself) imaginations like the hoverboard. The concept seems simple enough, yet a working model has remained tantalizingly out of reach until now. Kind of. Lexus has unveiled its new hoverboard and it seems our deepest dreams of flying around town on of these bad boys like Marty McFly has finally come true.
However, Lexus really isn’t breaking any new ground here in terms of technology. The science behind it comes down to superconducting magnetic levitation which has been around for years. This is just the first time that it is being implemented for recreational use. To sum up the physics behind it real quick, if you can supercool a superconductor you can get it to respond in a predictable manner over a magnetic field. This is where I bring you back down to earth. If you watch the video of the pro skaters testing the boards you can kind of tell there is something fishy. Where that feeling comes from is the fact that in order for the boards to work you need to be over a magnetic field. So Lexus in fact built a skate park with undetectable magnetic lines that run to and from where they want. This means that the board can only travel where they place the magnets. Also, the Lexus hoverboard requires you fill it with liquid nitrogen every 10 minutes or so, and only works if your local skate park has several hundred thousand dollars worth of magnets built into its surface.
Some would argue that this whole stunt was just a marketing ploy for Lexus. I can’t whole-heartedly disagree, but I have to admit that it is refreshing to see modern technology being pushed to its limits. Marty Mcfly came to the future on October 21st, 2015 so we still have some time to prove him right, but I have my doubts. This 80's kid can dream though.