We’ve all seen the trilogy of Back to The Future …we’ll those crafty scientists at Lexus tech have finally come up with a design that may just bring a dream to reality. The race has been on to develop a hoverboard by many companies over the years with a few falling short of production and application. But now in 2015 seems the year that hurdles have been overcome.
This Hoverboard is called Slide by Lexus and has been teased in a viral video released on you tube to millions of fans. Apparently more videos will be released during the summer.
The Hoverboard “uses magnetic levitation to achieve amazing frictionless movement.” with the added benefit of “liquid nitrogen cooled superconductors and permanent magnets combine to allow Lexus to create the impossible.”
The ‘Hoverboard’ by Lexus has of course got tech geeks excited all over and if you’re a ‘Back to The Future’ fan, you are likely one of those who got excited by the teaser video. I know my 7 year old son was who is a keen skateboarder.
Because Lexus has opted for a superconductor, this creates a different kind of magnetic field, one that does not die away …….. more on the physics of this in a latter post.
Magnets aside, the Lexus video does not really tell us much about if and when the ‘Slide’ hoverboard will really hit the market. Lexus has clarified that it isn’t looking to build a widely available hoverboard just yet.
Lexus spokesperson Maurice Dumand said “Back to the Future messed my whole generation up. The world so desperately wants someone to mass produce a hoverboard. Let’s be frank, it’s not novel. There are other hoverboards. To a degree, we weren’t expecting [the reaction].”
In short, BTTF fans should calm down. While the Lexus hoverboard is ‘real’, it’s not hitting the stores anytime soon. Like with many exponential ideas they have a purpose to fulfil design improvements in current tech and this may only be an experimental process that Lexus is going through to bolster their market position.
On the other hand there is the Hendo Hoverboard>>>…
The technology that allows this to happen is called Magnetic Field Architecture( MFA). This involves electromagnets attached to the base of the board that repel any non-ferrous (i.e. does not contain a significant amount of iron) conductive surface.
Greg and Jill Henderson, who are behind the Hendo Hover project, believe that the hoverboard is just the first of many innovations this technology allows. “It enables a new generation of lift and motion technology that will change the way we view transportation,” the Hendersons explained. “Additional applications for MFA technology are virtually limitless – from business, to industry, to healthcare, and beyond.”
The company is hopeful that a model will be on sale in 2015 – coincidentally, the year in which Marty McFly rode around on his own hoverboard.
Christmas comes early for teenagers the world over 🙂 The application of this tech is definately one to watch and is a cue for a future Q & A on those of you wanting to join in the discussion.
Comments welcome in the chat box below.