Automaker Lexus unveils hoverboard in Spain
BARCELONA - The year 2015 A.D. rolls on and we are perhaps one small step closer to achieving the dream of cruising around on a hoverboard, à la Marty McFly in "Back to the Future 2", thanks to automaker Lexus.
Don't get too excited, you bojo. The Lexus hoverboard, unveiled on Wednesday, only works with a constant supply of liquid nitrogen and a specialized underground magnetic track, so your dreams of cruising around Baton Rouge on a sleek, futuristic ride may have to wait a bit longer.
Several professional skateboarders came together in a custom-built "hoverpark" in Spain to test out the board, sliding down rails, hopping down stairs and gliding over water. There were also plenty of falls to be seen because, as it turns out, even in the future gravity remains a force to reckoned with.
"I've spent 20 years skateboarding, but without friction it feels like I've had to learn a whole new skill, particularly in the stance and balance in order to ride the hoverboard. It's a whole new experience," said professional skater Ross McGouran, who got the chance to demo the Lexus board.
The board levitates over magnetic track that works in a way similar to "magnetic levitation" trains that run throughout Asia. Superconductors inside the board are kept cool by a supply of liquid nitrogen and create a powerful magnetic field that allows the dream device to "hover" at a set height above the specialized surface. The opposing force is strong enough that it even allows riders to jump onto the board without ruining the levitation effect.
Unfortunately, this iteration of the hoverboard comes loaded with limitations that make the Lexus prototype little more than a proof of concept creation. Taking it out to city streets and sidewalks is impossible due to the required magnetic track, and one would need to pause the fun frequently in order to top up the board's liquid nitrogen supply.