The future has arrived, finally…
words by Jeremy Briggs
Children of the 70’s, 80’s, in fact pretty much anybody who ever saw the Back to the Future movies wanted to be Marty McFly, at least a little bit. Come on who didn’t want to play ‘Power of Love’ in front of their Dad’s school, knock out the school bully who also happened to be your annoying neighbour, or hang out with a crazy scientist known as ‘Doc’?
No? Well okay, tell me you didn’t want a hoverboard then…we ALL did, and still do. Well now you can have one. “There is no such thing as impossible” as Lexus Chief Engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi points out. “Its just a matter of figuring out how.” Thankfully for us he decided to figure out how to build a hoverboard. The result is mind-blowingly cool, supremely stylish and ultimately desirable! Picture the Doc, hair on end proclaiming ‘Great Scott’, then saying it again, then pulling his hair out in dismay that he never invented it himself, because Lexus did.
Watching the 37 second teaser video released in August had us wondering if the wisps of smoke trailing off the board itself were just for effect, but apparently they have a scientific purpose other than making a hoverboard seem even more futuristic than it already is.
If you’re interested in the nitty gritty of how the hell this thing works then the website will give you the full details, but if you want more of an overview then here it is: The hoverboard keeps itself and its rider suspended with the use of magnets, a superconductor and some big words.
The “smoke” that pours off it is the liquid nitrogen that is necessary to keep the superconductor cool. Think maglev train, your own personal maglev train… Nice.
The good news: The future is here, and the future is very awesome.
The bad news: You probably can’t afford the future, and you would need a whole bespoke ultramagnetic hoverboard park to experience it, otherwise it’s just a board with a dry smoke machine.