Back To The Future Was Right: Hoverboards Are Just Around The Corner

Tyler Durden's picture

We are now less than a year away from the day when Robert Zemeckis and Michael J. Fox inspired an entire generation to expect nothing less from 2015 than flying cars. Sadly, as a result of the past 6 years of human "progress" being redirected to finding creative ways of preserving crony capitalism, the failed way of Keynesian life and masking insolvent banks as lipsticked pigs, the only automotive question we have of 2015 is whether there are any GM cars that haven't been recalled; cars which one hopes will never be airborne. And yet, there is one aspect of 2015 that the Back to the Future trilogy may have gotten correct: that "other" thing which every 80's kid wants to have more than anything: hoverboards.

As a recent Kickstarter campaign by Los Gatos, CA company Hendo claims, a campaign which has already raised well over $100,000 more than its goal of $250,000, the company is preparing to introduce "the world's first REAL hoverboard and hover developer kit."

Are hoverboards really just around the corner? This is what the funding-strapped company claims:

So where does the HENDO hoverboard stand today? Well, about 1 inch off the ground. As you can see from the video above, the prototype is real and it works! But to see it hover in person, and better yet, to defy gravity by riding it, is something you need to experience as well.

 

With the support of the Kickstarter community, we all can. We need your help to put the finishing touches on the Hendo Hoverboard, to help us produce them, and to create places to ride them.

 

Our engineering team has been amazing, rapidly iterating on design after design. In fact, this our 18th prototype, and we continue to make advances week after week.

 

The magic behind the hoverboard lies in its four disc-shaped hover
engines. These create a special magnetic field which literally pushes
against itself, generating the lift which levitates our board off the
ground.

Unfortunately, as with many prior cases of hoverboards in the past, there is a catch: those who hope to recreate the famous Clocktower scene, where hoverboards would float over hard terrain as well as water, will be unable to. The reason: the board needs a special surface over which to float.
While our hoverboard is primarily intended to be self-propelled, the actions which stabilize it can also be used to drive it forward by altering the projected force on the surface below.
Currently, this surface needs to be a non-ferromagnetic conductor.  Right now we use commonly available metals in simple sheets, but we are working on new compounds and new configurations to maximize our technology and minimize costs. 
While one day we expect to have hoverboards that can effortlessly
float over any medium (even water!), our current technology requires
special types of surfaces. 
Therefore, we need a hoverpark to go
with our boards, and we have been busy designing a park befitting the
awesomeness of our technology.
So is the hoverboard just a modified monorail in which two magnetic surfaces repel each other? Well, not exactly. Here is the technology that is at the core of the hoverboard.

Levitation using magnets seems simple - just put one magnet over
another, same poles facing, and the top one will float. Voila, right?
 Sadly, as we all find out (usually as heartbroken little kids) this
never works. Due to something called Earnshaw's Theorem, a stable static
equilibrium between two magnets is impossible. There have been a number
of ways around this, but none have proven feasible enough for everyday
applications. Until now.

 

Lenz’s law explains how eddy currents are
created when magnets are moved relative to a conductive material.
 These eddy currents in turn create an opposing magnetic field in the
conductor.  Our core technology, which we call Magnetic Field
Architecture (MFA™), focuses this field more efficiently. 

You can
go ahead and google both of these scientific principles, but to sum it
up in regards to levitation: Lenz = Easy, Earnshaw = Hard.

 

The Hendo Hoverboard is a first-step product, a precursor to the
broader implementation of the world-changing technology of MFA.  It
enables a new generation of lift and motion technology that will change
the way we view transportation. Additional applications for MFA
technology are virtually limitless - from business, to industry, to
healthcare, and beyond.

 

Unlike magnetic levitation systems
employed today, our hover systems are comparably inexpensive and
completely sustainable. Hovering modes of transportation are now
possible and practical. Lifting a wide range of loads - whether it's a
person riding a hoverboard (what we were all expecting) or a building
riding out an earthquake (what we never imagined could be possible) - is
all within reach.

For the skeptics, Wired did a summary of the underlying technology and came away with the following conclusion: "Ok, so the physics for this type of hoverboard seems possible. Looking at other sites talking about this online, I am fairly certain it’s real.  One last physics note: I’m really not sure if a hoverboard powered by electromagnetic repulsion would be frictionless.  I suspect there would be some type of electromagnetic drag as the coil moved over the metal surface – but I could be wrong."

But it can't go everywhere (at least not yet), one would complain. And one would be, of course, right. But neither can one (or rather should) drive their car off the road. In principle, it wouldn't take much to coat every road surface with whatever magnetic alloy is required to convert all existining cars into the hovering vehicles first seen in Star Wars.

The company's take on the practical appliances of its technology:

We have a number of applications in mind, with industries that range from warehouse operations, to building foundation improvements, to novel methods of electromechanical fluid separation.

 

But what really excites us are the possibilities of applications we have no idea even exist - from new ways to harness energy, to replacing specific pieces of equipment in manufacturing processes; from the ordinary, to the exotic.

Surely there is much more, especially if and when the big corporations come sniffing. And sadly, once said corporations come knocking, the "magic" will immediately disappear because this technology, should it prove feasible, will be disruptive enough to threaten the existence of various, and numerous, trillion-dollar markets.

Usual cynicism aside, one can hope with less than 365 days until October 21, 2015, that for only the second time in the recent past a futuristic vision revealed several decades ago will actually coincide with reality. When was the first time? Why George Orwell's "1984" of course...

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Deathrips's picture

Try that thing on concrete, dirt, grass...well anything other than copper and aluminum.

 

Long aluminum and copper?

 

RIPS

Skateboarder's picture

Fuck that. Skateboards 4ever.

X.inf.capt's picture

i will never get back the 3 minutes it took to read that story.....

Skateboarder's picture

Well, spend another 15 watching Cheese and Crackers to get that nonsense out of your mind.

There will be pro hoverboarders one day. Sigh...

jbvtme's picture

does iphone have an app for suffering fools?

NidStyles's picture

That is not a hoverboard, it's a kid with daddy's money and too much time on his hands to play with a bunch of magnets.

 

A real hoverboard would be able to actually hover over any material.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

If they want to raise capital, then weaponize it.

Strap some Hellfires on it, and maybe a 30mm chaingun.

Say it is stealth technology because it will leave no tracks.

Do I have to do all of the thinking around here?

Ignatius's picture

Yeah, that or put tits on it, throw it on a stage and serve beer.

quintago's picture

these people are not technologists at all. It's a bullshit idea that only copper thieving crackheads can appreciate.

The Big Ching-aso's picture

I'd rather they came out with a James Bond electric jet pack. It might take a miniature nuclear reactor to power the blower motors but hey ya gotta start with something that'll float and will at least clear leaves off your property in a 5 acre radius.

jbvtme's picture

my first thought was the leaf blower

ParkAveFlasher's picture

You can put tits on that too.

sleigher's picture

"There will be pro hoverboarders one day. Sigh..."

 

Yeah but they will be like the guys that rollerblade or ride scooters at the skate park...  

XitSam's picture

Oh stop bellyaching. Just get in your Delorian and go 88 miles per hour.

nuke ISIS now's picture

If you took dump while on the hover-"bored", would that make it a Hover-dump?

Yo man Im hoverin a deuce brother

Shed Boy's picture

Nothing will ever replace the thrill of trespassing in somebodies yard to skate their swimming pool. Or bombing that hill in the middle of the night. Although, the skatepark in the town I was living in had the most perfect bowl I've ever skated. No kinks, no weird pitches and perfectly smooth cement.

Skateboards 4ever!

Skateboarder's picture

Good to hear from another skate brotha. Right you are - there is no replaceable joy to bombing hills and catching air. There's no element of danger to hendo. It's safe fun. Who wants safe fun?

Imagine a hendoboarder wearing a helment and pads. *hurl*

edit: Chet Childress' Back in Black part for you. Amazing skill, and filming to go with it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13KpqcU2W2s

NoVa's picture

I'm with you & old school too.

Grew up in HB CA and skated whatever we could sneak into - backyard pools, storm drains.  Made our own boards.  

 

Too old now, but I can still do a 360, back and forwards

 

 

achmachat's picture

ironically, it would also work on silver.

barre-de-rire's picture

[ FAIL ! ][ FAIL ! ][ FAIL ! ][ FAIL ! ][ FAIL ! ]

 

they invented the swimsuit skateboard... wow.

 

using specific surface.

just like swimsuit, ugly, unsexy, only usable in sea or swimingpool, pointless for outdoor and by definition, not usable as any vehicule. this has no utility.

it's a fucking swimsuit skateboard, just like the muslim snowparc in dubai for those napkin headed animals.

 

wait for electrical bills... for 100ppl doing bicycle, how many tony hawk ???.......

 

[ FAIL ! ][ FAIL ! ][ FAIL ! ][ FAIL ! ][ FAIL ! ]

 

CASTBOUND's picture

my friend's step-sister makes $67 every hour on the computer . She has been fired from work for 7 months but last month her pay check was $14130 just working on the computer for a few hours. blog here... www.Yelptrade.com

JustPrintMoreDuh's picture

Hoverboards are for pussies.  I want a goddamn lightsabre bitchez.

barre-de-rire's picture

keep your alcalin battery for torch, cunty.

when you got no light you still in my 10/22 line of sight.

fuck-o-yea

Otto Zitte's picture

Lawyers are standing by.

FiatFapper's picture

I'd be surprised if any kick-starter innovation gained traction, after the oculus / facebook fiasco.

Once bitten, twice shy.

NidStyles's picture

You're joking right? Kickstarter is the future of innovative processes. It's a de-centralization of production and ownership.

FiatFapper's picture

KS extorts people's empathy, a need / wanting to be involved and in return they get a t-shirt, mug or their name in the credits.

The oculus debacle epitomises the hidden agenda of crowd-funding and if there's a sniff of commercial success, they sell out to the likes of FB.

There's nothing wrong with this, but as altruistic angel investors, there should be a caveat that KS'ers will get equity if there's any VC funding or IPO.

NidStyles's picture

One incident and you label the whole world a victim.

 

Your cynicism is an example of why the US is failing.

FiatFapper's picture

I think those that invest in KS projects should have equity, is that wrong?

Oculus was a shining example of alturists getting sand kicked in their face.

NidStyles's picture

If you don't like the terms of the arrangement, then you don't have to take part. It's that simple.There is no one forcing you to use their service or donate.

 

If you want a serivice like you described, then start it yourself.

laomei's picture

it's e-begging and nothing else.

FiatFapper's picture

"It's a de-centralization of production and ownership"

How is this correct?

Nothing is de-centrralised, the ownership still remains with the creators and production is still their responsibility.

All KS does is to entice people to be part of a project and in return they get their name on a t-shirt or get to visit the offices or whichever tiered return the project states.

It's like a donate button on a website, that's fair enough. If you liked something, it's your choice to contribute, but doing it on a mass scale via crowd-funding and then selling out to facebook is leaching and explotation; i wonder if there was any mention of their POA if rounds of funding were secured? Would the contribution have been as great?

NidStyles's picture

It allows non-corporate entities the ability to get a product finished and on the market without resorting to taking money from corporations or other entities that would likely try to influence the business making decisions.

 

You are looking at Kickstarter from the wrong side, you have to understand what it allows for entrepreneurs.

FiatFapper's picture

Thanks for your replies, much appreciated.

Do you have personal experience with Kick-starter? Your posts infer a vested interest of some kind, so I'd appreciate an objective opinion, rather than my subjective diatribe.

q99x2's picture

How about a 36' ball that magnetically floats on a football field sized base with a roller blader inside. I'd go for that. Oh wait a minute. Why not get rid of all the magnets and crap. That would work just as well. I guess then you could do away with the company too.

Fuku Ben's picture

Back to the future was right about 9/11 so why not a hover board too

It's all just predictive programming

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPJQ-1Y8jfY

BigJim's picture

Now I've seen everything

NevadaMirage's picture

Magnets: the go to device of every snake oil salesman. This is going to be one of the best Kickstarter flameouts.

TheEndIsNear's picture

Total bullshit. Anyone stupid enough to invest money in a scam like this is a fool. I have enough familiarity with Lenz's law, and electronics in general to recognize this scam for what it is.

Nor will it ever possible for anyone to build a perpetual motion machine that produces more power than it consumes.

NidStyles's picture

Did you watch the video where the WORKING PROTOTYPE was moving around on it's own?

justmy2cents's picture

I think it will never take off...

giggler321's picture

The battery life must be terrible with eletromagnets this large - 10minutes floating for 14hour charge; santa can keep it in his sacks, thanks.  Since they gotta have a ferrous plate under the half pipe or arena, it reminds me more like the bumper cars at fairground and so in that situation I just take the power from alternate planes in the floor with a smaller battery like those electric kart tracks.

Relating this to going back in time is just stupid.

himaroid's picture

But I just did four miles on a water bicycle.....http://hydrobikes.com/

Drink it up all night, sweat it out all day.

Not their slogan.

Mine.

SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

Those hoverboards might help out bankers who fall off of tall buildings...

teslaberry's picture

kickstarter is kind of awesome, becasue you line up people willing to throw away money on stuff that will either arrive to their house extremely late, or stuff that will completely dissapoint them. 

 

BUT you get a cool video to show you what cool new thing you can give free money too. 

 

it's not exactly for suckers because you KNOW you're getting fucked. it's not a purchase, it's certianly not financing or a stock or debt. it's a gift. you are giving some 'maker' a gift. 

 

now, sometime the maker is just scam artist not building anything, but kickstarter has done a fairly effective job at rooting them out. you get see awesome video's of cool stuff people want to build , and osmetimes they've even made a real prototype that works and not just a demonstration balogna video to get your money. 

 

i bought somethign from kickstarter once, for 20 bucks and i'd never ever give to kickstarter again, but frankly, i love kickstarter. it's just not worth my money. and money talks and bullshti walks.

limacon's picture

If they can levitate the stocks , currency and banks , levitating the boards as well is a snap

exartizo's picture

Fantastic technology breakthrough Hendo.

Kudos to you.

Let the naysayers have their day.

And let them have their antiquated, stratified, rigid, fossilized, critical, crumbling, credos, culture, and catchphrases.

The Future may belong to you.

css1971's picture

ok it's a very cool technology. But it's competing against the wheel.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

I wonder if I can strap a motorcycle engine to a hendo, and give it some REAL juice.