Lexus has finally shown the world a working hoverboard: watch the video above for a first look at their innovation. Though the technology isn’t quite ready to support an escape from Biff and the boys, it’s still pretty cool and very promising for the future.
The video shows professional skateboarder Ross McGouran is challenged by mastering even basic moves – not surprising, considering riding the Lexus hoverboard is akin to straddling a Maglev train. The Lexus hoverboard relies on superconductors and magnets, which work against gravity to hover off of the ground. That cool-looking steam coming off of the sides isn’t decorative; it’s liquid nitrogen, cooling the superconductors to -321 degrees Fahrenheit (the temperature at which they become superconducting).
Perhaps the biggest downside to the invention in its current state for hoverboard enthusiasts is that the course on which McGouran hover-shreds actually has metal underneath it. On surfaces that comprise the vast majority of our city streets and sidewalks, the hoverboard wouldn’t hover.
A highly constrained, not quite original hoverboard is still a hoverboard, though. And this one comes with a bonus: Lexus put together a mini-doc about the process that offers a fresh look at the physics behind the fun.
Let’s hope jetpacks are next.
Thanks to Brian Barrett from WIRED.com