Hoverboards in our future?
Anyone who has ever seen Back to the Future II has probably wondered why we don't have real life hoverboards with us now. After all, it is 2007, which is only a few years away from the 2015 date they gave us for that film.
Fortunately, there are some alternatives. The first is a product suspiciously called the Hoverboard by a company called Future Horizons. Seen below, this orange guy can keep you three inches above the ground at a maximum speed of 20 mph. The controls are operated via remote that is sadly wired, but it can control the rudder position and speed. I am a little concerned about the wire getting caught in the blades, though. Couldn't someone put some Bluetooth into this bad boy?
Anyway, you can purchase this futuristic skateboard/lawn mower combo for about $9,000 USD at www.futurehorizons.net. For a fraction of that cost, you can buy the plans to build your own hoverboard. I really have my doubts that you are getting the genuine article here. Future Horizons sells a lot of science stuff that doesn’t look even remotely real. Categories on their site include Time Travel and other such stuff.
If you’re still interested in hovering tech, you might be interested in a second option. Seen below, is called the Airboard. It doesn’t come with the models in the picture, but, unlike the Future Horizons Airboard, it does work with weight transfer. Leaning back somehow makes you go faster, and stopping and steering done via weight transfer, like a traditional skateboard.
Unfortunately, I don’t have much information about the Hoverboard or Airboard, but I’m guessing they work on some sort of high-powered fans. I seem to remember an episode of Mythbusters where the guys experimented with hover technology that they used to see in comic books in their youth. I believe they determined hovering as plausible.
In fact, it may be even more plausible as a group of British physicists are figuring out a way to reverse the effect of the Casimir force, which would make objects repel each other. I suppose this could be used to make a decent hoverboard that would naturally repel the ground.
Yes, all of this talk is well and good. However, I have yet to see one working. I actually think that when Back to the Future II was made, the studio spread some sort of rumor that they actually had hoverboards, but Universal seems to be going out of its way to dispel this rumor.
If some company ever does invent a hoverboard that they can mass-market, something tells me our society could easily change overnight.