August 4, 2015
It has been well documented that Lexus has been working on a Hoverboard. The internet had a field day as soon as the video teasers started being released in June. The company asserted that they would be officially releasing the prototype in all its Glory August 5th. While it still the 4th here in the US, Lexus proved that it was not all a joke; unlike a similar story that involved celebrities and a hoverboard. On March 3rd, a website called HUVr Tech was launched. The website was very basic. It had two investor blurbs, a video that had big name celebrities testing out a Hoverboard made by a team of MIT researchers, and any about me page for the researchers. The video opens with Christopher Lloyd driving up to Tony Hawk in a Delorean, with a skateboard shaped briefcase. Tony Hawk opens it to see the first working Hoverboard ever. He tries it out briefly, then begins to talk about the many professional skaters that were inspired by Back to the Future, and how he astonished to see it become reality in his lifetime. After that popular celebrities take turns trying out the user friendly hoverboard. As it turns out it was all a cruel joke; not a working model like Lexus made, but a click-bait hoax Funny or Die made featuring a fake hoverboard. While that example did not pan out, later that year a real working hoverboard was made. Arx Pax is a start up tech company that specializes in Magnetic Field Architecture. While the aforementioned technology has numerous pragmatic applications; Arx Pax started a kickstarter campaign to do something a little less practical. The result was Hendo. Hendo Hoverboard served its function well, it was an incredible proof of concept. The creators even invited a lucky few to their small testing area (a small patch of magnetic floor attached to a very shallow half pipe) to try their creation. Again, Tony Hawk was a part of the demonstration. He even apologized for his part in what he assumed everyone would know was fake product. After that he tried out the board. Clearly the board was much different than expected, just staying on seemed to be a challenge even for a professional. The Luxury automaker seems to have a much more refined version the hoverboard. Their presentation was also much more grandiose compared to the Mom and Pop start up. They did not have big name celebrities, instead they had a lesser known professional skater: Ross McGouran, a professional racecar-driver/Jalopnik contributor: Rodd Holland, a fancy camera, and an entire magnet covered Skate park. The demonstration started with various riders trying to acclimate to the new technology and falling frequently. Eventually Ross starts to get the hang of it. It is doubtful that the prototype will ever seen consumer hands. However, the Automaker was successful in its goal; the hoverboard shown was not only clearly capable of almost anything a real skateboard can do (except ollie (maybe)), but it also proved that transportation technology could use magnetic fields to their advantage and Lexus is already streets ahead.