Back to the Future - Kickstarter Campaign Puts Real Life Hoverboards on the Market
According to Back to the Future, October 2015 will see a world in which flying cars, holographic movie signs and hoverboards are all perfectly normal. While flying cars are still some way off, could it be that Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gales were correct in their prediction of hoverboards? A new Kickstarter project has just come online claiming to have created a prototype hoverboard called Hendo, and I have to say, it looks to be the real deal.
You'll recall that famous moment from Back to the Future when Marty attempts to take his hoverboard across the water:
- "Hey McFly you bojo! Those boards don't work on water!"
- "Unless you got POWER! Hahahah..."
In some respects, that rings true with the Hendo, because it only works on certain surfaces. The reason being, the Hendo's ability to hover is derived from magnets, this means it needs something to push against. Water, concrete, and wood are all no good, instead, the Hendo hoverboard needs a floor made of non-ferrous metals such as aluminium or copper if it is to function.
So let's say you've got access such a floor, what can Hendo do?
According to Greg Henderson the founder of Hendo creators, Arx Pax, with a non-ferrous flooring in place the hoverboard is remarkably versatile. "During our research, we discovered a way to transmit electromagnetic technology that is far more efficient than anything else. This means that our patent-pending Hendo Hover Engine technology can enable platforms to hover over non-ferrous materials with payloads of virtually any size and weight."
The current iteration of the Hendo - Arx Pax's 18th - is able to carry a load of up to 140kg 3cm off the ground for a little over 15 minutes. In it's current state, the Hendo's application as an actual piece of extreme sports hardware may be somewhat limited, but Arx Pax believe they aren't too far away on making scenes like those from Back to the Future, a reality. "It is still early days, but we are absolutely thrilled because we have proven conclusively that what was widely considered impossible is, in fact, possible," said Henderson.
At the time of writing, Arx Pax's Kickstarter campaign had already raised more than $70,000 of its $250,000 target. Funders can pay as little as $5 for a shout out on social media, while big money backers can secure a fully functioning Hendo board for $10,000 (delivered by October 2015). Interestingly, the campaign is offering developer kits for as little as $299 or $699 if you want a ready-made app to control the propulsion systems with, so there are plenty of opportunities for you to utilize the tech for your own needs.
You have until December to back the campaign, but with the understandably crazy level of buzz around the product, the limited slots for premium rewards will likely fill up long before that.
Finally, just in case you needed a reminder of what next year will look like, all this talk of Back to the Future would be wasted without showing this clip...