Did Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale predict the future? The hoverboard is real: the future has arrived.
Lexus International has released that since the Lexus Hoverboard Project began eighteen months ago with The Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden (IFW Dresden) and superconductors, magnetic bearings and levitation technological company evico GmbH, a real life hoverboard exists with a successful testing phase taking place in Barcelona’s Cubelles.
In June, Lexus released this teaser.
Consequently, nerds and geeks worldwide started breaking the internets asking each other if the hoverboard was real or fake. They still would have questioned its validity, even if Tony Hawk hadn’t faked with a hoverboard back in November anyways. Geeks and nerds are like that.
But Lexus has now released a slick video of West London professional skater Ross McGouran riding the hoverboard prototype. “Without friction,” Ross remarks, “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.” And this after two decades of skating. The video shows Ross struggling to ride the hoverboard at first, experiencing a number of tumbles and falls, though he eventually manages to achieve some pretty impressive stunts. It might not be ready for everyday sk8erbois carving out ollies and railslides, but it’s damned impressive all the same. The hoverboard even hovers over water.
For the test to happen, a specially constructed hoverpark using up to 200 metres of track containing permanent magnets was transported from Dresden to Barcelona – perhaps bypassing the Large Hadron Collider just for a wave. The architecture of the hoverpark had to be rebuilt, using metal to fit the latest technology to the conventional skatepark. Two cryostats – sounding rather Demolition Man here now – holds liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors kept at -197 degrees. We’re talking temperatures on Jupiter. What this all means though is the hoverboard will only work when placed above a metal track or surface. “The magnetic field from the track is effectively ‘frozen’ into the superconductors in the board, maintaining the distance between the board and the track—essentially keeping the board hovering,” evico’s CEO Dr. Oliver de Haas says. “ This force is strong enough to allow the rider to stand and even jump on the board.” Haha he didn’t quite mention The Force.
As Part 4 of Lexus’ Amazing in Motion campaign series, SLIDE is directed by American filmmaker Henry-Alex Rubin – a director seemingly dedicated to focusing on the positives of humanity:
The video follows
Part 1 with STEPS – the story of human motion using innovative puppetry and engineering
Part 2 with SWARM – the story of robotic quadrotors (cue the cute drones)
and Part 3 with STROBE – following the journey of an LED suit acrobatic stuntman
The campaign features the high performance GS F and is all part of showcasing Lexus’ creativity and innovation as a move to be seen as awesome and ahead of the game. It’s kinda working.