Familiar with the 1980’s Back to the Future movie franchise? If you are then you must be familiar with the hoverboards i.e. skateboards which instead of rolling on the ground levitate above it. According to that movie we were supposed to have those by 2012. So where are they? Apparently making one isn’t that easy as the movie made it sound. Difficult but not impossible
It seems as though Lexus – which is the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Toyota – has also got fans of Back to Future series because they have built a working model of a hover-board. Yup an actual floating hover-board. Sadly it is not planned to be for sale or commercial production and is a one-off.This amazing product was revealed by Lexus on 24th June 2015 through a 37 second video which only shows it hovering above the ground. According to their website, the board uses liquid nitrogen-cooled super conductors and magnets to enable it to hover above the ground. There are still lots of short comings to it, and the mini teaser of the board doesn’t explain a lot, but it is enough to get the enthusiasts jumping up and down. In the video the hover-board is shown to be levitating above concrete so you may ask how that is possible if it applies magnetic levitation. Well most probably because the concrete has steel or magnets mixed underneath it. So yes, sadly it would not be able to ‘hover’ above normal ground. Additionally the smoke that can be seen coming out of that board? Well it’s not just for the cool effects. That’s the liquid nitrogen doing its thing which is keeping the superconductors below their transition temperature that is around -321 degrees Fahrenheit. When the liquid nitrogen runs out, the superconductors warm up and the hover-board stops, well, hovering, until you top it off again.
According to Lexus, the hover-board shares some design cues with the Lexus range of cars and more information will be disclosed later in October. They will be testing the prototype in Barcelona over the next few weeks.This hover-board called SLIDE has gone viral over the internet and has gained a lot of attention. The reaction was somewhat unexpected, even for Lexus itself. Sadly according to Maurice Durand – Lexus’ spokesperson – this is only a part of a campaign for the yet unannounced car (no, it wont float). “To a degree, we weren’t expecting this reaction”, says Maurice. He also says that’s there is a distinct possibility based on the reaction so far that people will remember the hover-board more than the car that’s going to be in [the ad].
It is better not to expect to see “SLIDE” made on commercial scale, because for it to work we will need to have our pavements and sidewalks paved with magnets which makes it impractical. But still knowing that there is a hover-board out there that actually levitates above the ground is pretty exciting. It might take years before we see one ready to be used by the public, but it’s still something to look forward to.
Watch its reveal video here :