When we hear about hoverboards these days we think of those handleless Segways that people ride around the place rather than walking, even when you can’t use them legally in public in the UK. Why not look at something a little different then? Like the original idea of a hoverboard, one that can actually fly!
Typically real hoverboards that actually float use magnetism to propel themselves off the ground, with the Lexus Slide being a prime example. If you followed French Jet Ski champion, Franky Zapata, though you would know that there is something completely different available now, let us introduce you to the Flyboard!
Designed as a single person hoverboard, the device is untethered and is powered solely by jet thrust created by a miniature jet turbine engine. Demonstrating the device with speeds of up to 55 kilometers per hour (that’s 34 miles an hour!) and a height of up to 30 meters the Flyboard has enough petrol is its user’s backpack for 10 minutes of continuous flight!
While it may seem like a dream, and until more details are revealed that’s all the device is; the device could be seen as the next step for single person aerial transport. While this isn’t the first time someone’s created a device that lets them fly, famously inventor and aviator David Mayman flew around the Statue of Liberty while using his JB-9 jetpack, the race is surely on with Mayman even challenging Zapata and his hoverboard to a race!
Segways are the next best thing when it comes to showing off your technology in public. The end result though was the creation of “hoverboards” or swagboards as some call them. A device that operates in a similar fashion just without the handlebars that you find in Segways. A Segway patent could see away with the competition though as it looks to ban Hoverboards and other such devices.
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has accepted a patent complaint that Segway filed in 2014 that is now going to be enforced by a general exclusion order. A general exclusion order is considered the most powerful remedy the ITC can issue, even involving people not directly involved in the complaint.
US Patent No 8,830,048 describes a device with wheels, a drive, and sensors to detect the pitch of the user support among other things. The second claim then carries this on by mentioning the use of a handlebar extending the features previously mentioned.
While the second claim covers the segway, the first claim would effectively cover devices such as the hoverboard which have been received and purchased by the public in far greater quantities than the original Segway.
President Obama has 60 days to accept the exclusion (something that is rarely blocked) and if it is accepted the exclusion order will then need enforcing, blocking imports and sales of anything that would infringe on Segway’s patent.
Trends come and go, from the latest phone to the newest console people often buy and then upgrade their technology a few months later. A few years ago the world was caught in a segway craze, with users riding around work and towns to doing rallies through woodland on the machines, but these were shortly replaced by their handleless “hoverboard” siblings. Sadly as with all crazes and trends, everyone wants a piece of the action. The hoverboard boom has led to more than a few recalls due to dangerous products, and even injuries. With cheap models being created all over the world, a US company decided to fight to protect their product at CES this year, a fight which the Chinese company has now backed out from.
Earlier this year at CES companies was showing off all kinds of technology, but Future Motion had their eye drawn only to one stall. Changzhou First International Trade Co had a stall set up demonstrating their version of Future Motions “hoverboard”. The design features a single wheel located in the middle of the device, as shown in the image above. Future Motion went to court and against no opposition asked the judge to issue a restraining order on the products sales. The hearing lasted a grand total of 7 minutes and at the end, the temporary restraining order was issued resulting in a raid on the booth at CES.
Future Motion has now dropped the case, which was set to be heard on the 19th February. Changzhou isn’t too happy though and is looking to recover the legal fees it’s had to pay to its lawyers. Their lawyer has released a statement saying that the “sole purpose of FM [Future Motion]’s TRO was to deprive its chief competitor Changzhou of its lawful right to display Changzhou’s Trotter product at the Consumer Electronics show (CES)”.
This definitely looks bad for Future Motion, who seem to have dropped the case in the hopes of it all fading away, with their actions seeming to back Changzhou’s evaluation that it was nothing more than a move to block competition.
A man was left hospitalised after testing out the ‘hoverboard’ he bought for his son as a Christmas present, and when he woke up he thought the year was 2010. Mark Tamlin of Surrey, UK, was disappointed to find that the ‘hoverboard’ – a misnomer adopted by the popular-yet-controversial style of lateral two-wheeled electric scooters – he gifted to his eldest son didn’t work.
His son left disappointed, Tamlin mounted the vehicle to try it on 27th December, but soon after was launched to the ground, his head colliding with the ground. When Tamlin awoke in a hospital bed, he was unable to remember Christmas Day, and told one of his doctors that he thought the year was 2010.
“When I was thrown off it, both my sons were apparently screaming and crying. They were terrified, Tamlin told the Daily Mail. “It’s lucky I was on it and not one of my sons – one of them could have been seriously hurt.”
“I tried to work out what was going on with it so jumped on and had a go myself. The next thing I knew I was in hospital,” Tamlin said. “I don’t know what happened, but my sons told me it started vibrating really fast. Then it threw me up in the air and I hit the back of my head on the ground.”
“I remember none of the day it happened, parts of Boxing Day and some of Christmas Day are also a bit of a blur,” he added. “The doctor said when I first come in he asked me what year it was and I apparently said 2010.”
Following a recovery period, and despite recurrent headaches, Tamlin has now regained much of his memory.
While 2015 has been dominated by so-called hoverboards – in actuality, self-balancing two-wheeled boards which don’t hover – we may have a real contender before the year is out. Private aeronautics company ArcaSpace has launched the ArcaBoard, a fan-powered platform that actually hovers about a foot off the ground, for but only for a few minutes at a time.
The ArcaBoard is powered by 36 electric powered fans which cumulatively generate 430lb of thrust, equal to about 272 horsepower, coupled with self-balancing gyroscopes for stability. You won’t be travelling much, though, as the board is difficult to propel and steer, and can only stay in the air for a maximum of 6 minutes for the average weighted user. If you’re on the heavier side however, you’ll only get 3 minutes of fun time with the enhanced thrust. While the technology itself is impressive, it’s debatable whether the board is worth the eye-watering $19,900 USD that it’s being sold for on the ArcaBoard website.
“For the first time since the bicycle, automobile or airplane, the ArcaBoard is a revolutionary breakthrough for transportation,” the website reads. “For the first time, every person will be able to fly anytime, anywhere. The world, your world, will change forever.”
Dumitru Propescu, CEO of ArcaSpace, can be seen riding the board in the following video:
“I’ve always wanted to create a commercially available product for the masses,” Propescu says in the video. “But the creation of this truly revolutionary product proves that Arca is not only able to create amazing technologies, but is actually engineering the future.”
We have mixed feelings about this hover-surface, as in all honesty, for the average consumer, it is too pricey and from the view on the video; too big and bulky. I can see what they are trying to do and with any new product, a natural progression is needed to sustain a viable product in the market, but I just don’t think this is it, but is definitely a stepping stone for the next more “consumer-friendly” version to appear on the market, whether it be from Arca Space Corporation or a competitor.
Even if you had $20,000 spare, would you buy the ArcaBoard or will you wait for the next model to hit the market?
For many 2015 is the year of dreams. I mean that because this is the year we all have hoverboards, flying cars and self-tying shoelaces. I am of course referring to the 30th Anniversary of the ever-popular film Back to the Future. This is, of course, inspiring all kinds of attention, from Nike announcing last year that they would release actual self-tying shoelaces and Pepsi are even releasing the future Pepsi bottom seen in the second film. Sadly though if you want to get the third in this trio of items and live in the UK we have bad news for you.
The metropolitan police today tweeted (yes that’s how we get our laws these days), that using a hoverboard on public roads or pavements is actually illegal. The only place you could ride such a device would be on private property with the express permission of the property owner, so for a large majority of the UK that means using a hoverboard to get to work just won’t be possible.
The news only gets worse with this ruling also applying to self-balancing scooters such as segways or the handleless version called a Swagway. As these are motorised and have no license you can’t ride them on the road or the pavement it would seem.
The law that makes this impossible? Section 72 of the Highway Act 1835, that’s right it is 180 years old and is stopping us from driving our hoverboards to work. Even worse if you live in Scotland as it breaches the 181-year section 129(5) of the Roads act.
Marty McFly would be so proud of the people from Lexus, that is if he was a real person. Back to the Future 2 told us that there would be rideable hoverboards in 2015 and they were spot on. We’ve seen three different ones so far, but Lexus version is the most impressive to date. Other than Lexus’ hoverboard, there were the Hendo Hoverboard and the Leafblower build hoverboard – both work, but in a limited fashion.
Up until now Lexus had only teased us with a very short video that barely showed the board itself and no riding action at all, but all that has changed with the new video released yesterday. It works and it works on all surfaces as demonstrated by skating over a small pond. Again, Marty would be proud of the Lexus engineers.
The sad part is that we most likely never will be able to ride it ourselves, but we can dream and we can see that it is possible to create it. “There is no such thing as impossible, it’s just a matter of figuring out how,” said Haruhiko Tanahashi, chief engineer at Lexus.
There’s also something to laugh at as the riders aren’t the most skillful and fall on their rear a few times. It’s all in good fun and it is one of those videos that can put a smile on your face. So enjoy this footage of the first real rideable hoverboard Anno 2015.
We’ve previously seen the some attempts to create hoverboards, but none of them were the real deal. The Hendo hoverboard requires a specialized metal surface to operate and while the leaf blower home build did work, it wasn’t any beauty nor was it as compact as a normal skateboard.
Now someone else enters the arena and it is a surprising contender. The car manufacturer Lexus has shown off a video on YouTube with what they claim to be the real deal. A working, real, rideable hoverboard. The demonstration video is very short and doesn’t show much, but what it does show looks pretty amazing.
The new hoverboard project is called SLIDE and it is the fourth project in the ‘Amazing in Motion’ series by Lexus where they challenge themselves in order to create something unique. The Lexus hoverboard
Lexus defines the SLIDE hoverboard as true engineering innovation, and they will bring regular updates on the progress of this extraordinary projects on the future.
What do you think? Is it the real deal or just a clever marketing stunt? Would you want one if it is real? Let us know in the comments. We’ll make sure to keep you, our readers, updated with anything new in this area.
Catalin Alexandru Duru, a Canadian inventor just managed to use his invention, the first real-life hoverboard, to cross by hovering across over 300 Meters (1000 feet) the Quebec lake. He invented a hoverboard which he claims that it can be used anywhere (on any terrain). His device seems to be inspired by the gadget called Hoverboard present in the Sci-Fi movie named ‘Back to the Future’ franchise. The world record was made in the presence of the crew from the Guinness Book of World Records there to confirm the “Farthest Flight by Hoverboard”.
Duru just had to fly a distance of 48.7 Meters (160 feet) to qualify for the record but that was apparently just a starting point of the flight for Duru. He kept flying for more 275 Meters (905 feet and 2 inches) before touching the water surface and sink.
“The prototype can be used anywhere,” Duru explains. “But is usually tested over water because of how dangerously high it can fly.
Put your money back in the wallet as this is just a prototype and has no date for official release in the market. It isn’t even confirm that if the product will ever make it to the market for interested folks to buy.
The self-lacing Nike shoes, as worn by Marty McFly on his visit to the future in sci-fi adventure sequel Back to the Future II, are to be released later this year, it has been announced. Well, it is 2015, after all.
Tinker Hatfield, the original designer of the Nike MAG for the 1989 movie, revealed the news at the #AgendaEmerge conference in Long Beach, California this week, saying that he and his team are working as hard as they can to release the footware this year.
The “power lace” technology used in the shoe has even been patented:
We already have a hoverboard, so let’s hope that Black & Decker are working on a functional Hydrator. I fancy some instant pizza.
In March, Tony Hawk pranked us all by riding the fake ‘HUVr‘ hoverboard.
But now, he’s released a video of him riding another board, except this one is real. In October we reported on the successful Kickstarter campaign for the Hendo Board which uses magnetism to levitate you like Marty McFly. Or Tony Hawk. Hawk gets up to some pretty impressive stunts on the board, with him at one point spinning the $10,000 piece of kit at a frightening velocity.
It’s been 25 years since Back to the Future Part II was released and since then it has been every boys dream to have their own hoverboard. In the movie, Marty McFly is visiting the future 2015 where he ends up in some trouble with Biff and has to escape. For this, he uses the hoverboard.
Now that very same thing is becoming a reality with the new Hendo Hoverboard making its appearance on Kickstarter. The prototype is real, it works and it can be yours in the very near future. The company shortly mentions that there was a movie about something like this, but nothing more. There is no need to be drawn into any arguments with anyone that might delay the launch. Smart move.
This isn’t just some one-man idea put on Kickstarter in the hopes to get it off the ground. There is a big team behind the hover technology and the hoverboard is just one way to demonstrate their invention in a way that everyone can understand. It can be scaled up and down to suit almost any needs. The current version is the 18th prototype of the hoverboard, so there clearly went a lot of time, research and development into it.
The Kickstarter campaign is about getting the final production started and creating the physical skateparks where you can ride them. The hoverboard uses four disc-shaped hover engines that create a magnetic field which literally pushes against itself, thereby generating the lift which levitates the board and you off the ground. 250 pounds are the current limitation on the lifting power, so even large adults should be able to enjoy it.
When we’re moving off the ground, we’re also eliminating the directional boundaries of wheels and can move equally in any direction. The board is designed to work with your natural movements and can use the engines to propel you in any direction. There are only two factors that impact your movement, the applied force and its direction.
There is only pmr little hitch on the hoverboards, the surface currently needs to be a non-ferromagnetic conductor. That’s why they need to build special hover-skateparks, after all you’d want a place to ride your incredible toy. Right now sheet metals are used as the surface, but the company is effectively working on new compounds and configurations to maximize the technology.
The technologies used aren’t really new as such, but no one has ever brought them together like this and made it work in a usable size. The hoverboard of course features numerous safeguards from the ability to detect interference on the surface to automatic power down. Battery cells are located in the middle of the board so they won’t impact the balance.
You’ll really have to want this hoverboard to get it at the current state. Not because it’s shabby nor because of the surface limitations, but rather because of the price. If you want to be one of the first 10 world-wide to own these boyhood dreams, you’ll have to pledge a whopping $10,000 or more.
The price tag and limitation of just 10 devices will limit this technology from most of us, or will it? There is another option in the form of the Whitebox Developer’s Kit. The box contains all the same technology used in the hoverboards, but in a scaled down version for you to take apart and apply to anything you’d like. You can then remote control you hovering items with an Android or iPhone app on the plus version.
This puts hover control and propulsion capabilities in your hands. The current version uses rechargeable LiPo batteries that give 12-15 minutes of hover with a charge time of about 2 hours. Make your model cars hover, or how about your PC case while the system boots or shuts down? There aren’t many limitations besides your fantasy and the battery time.
The Whitebox Developer Kit will set you back a pledge of $299, or £349 if you’d like one with a nicer skin. If you’d just like to support the project there are smaller pledges that will reward anything from stickers to desk memorabilia. If you can’t afford the hoverboard itself with its steep $10k price, you can get a replica without the technology inside, to display on your wall or trophy case. The replica will set you back $449.
This is all very cool, but as we know not all Kickstarter projects become reality within a timeframe we’d like. Hendo has a nice looking timeline with the first merchandise delivered Q1 2015. Whitebox Developer Kits and hover-replicas will be delivered in July and August 2015 whereas the actual hoverboard will launch at the Hover Event on October 21st 2015. If the date sounds familiar to you, there might be a reason for this.
No one has grabbed any of the 10 hoverboards at the time of writing this, but I’m sure it won’t take long before they’re gone.
Thank you Kickstarter for providing us with this information
Whether you love it or hate it, the Back to the Future collection is a massive hit and rightly so with the internet world turning to memes about how the world has only 2 years to make hoverboards a reality. Well it seems that reality is here, in a roundabout kind of way with the original “Pit Bull” hoverboard appearing on US auction site eBay.
Branded as the Back to the Future 2 Griff Tannen “Pit Bull” hoverboard, it comes in with a stonking buy it now price of $12,995 US Dollars but you’re also welcome to make an offer if you haven’t quite got that much disposable income, though the seller will still charge you $79.99 in shipping costs to mainland USA and $99.99 for international FedEx economy shipping if wanting to buy from the UK.
The underside features two vaccu-form anti-gravity plates, and there is some damage to the prop as expected with a piece of nostalgia dating back over 20 years and the rear foot pad component is missing from the top of the board.
The listing clearly states that it’s the original, though don’t expect it to fly as it purely is a prop but is classed as extremely rare. The board is made from wood, resin and metal and measures in at 26″ long and includes a Hollywood PARTS Certificate of Authenticity.
Why not check out the eBay listingyourself and maybe make an offer? The seller can only say yes or no, and you may be lucky enough to get your hands on something that changed the face of futuristic movies for all of us in one way or another.