What?! Hendo Hover Vows to Produce Hoverboards by Fall of 2015
Some people were duped and disappointed by the faux unveiling of the HUVr Tech hoverboards, which turned out to be completely fake. However, a new endeavor from a company called Hendo Hoverboards has been working on the real thing, and they're claiming to have real hoverboards ready for production by October 21st, 2015. But before you start getting excited about zooming around your town square, you should probably take some time to understand the technology at work, and realize that this won't exactly be like having a hovering skateboard that you ride around town on. But it's still pretty damn cool. Look now!
To begin with, check out this video from Kickstarter looking at the first real hoverboard:
New York Times (via SlashFilm) has the story about the company founded by Northern California couple Greg & Jill Henderson. Here's how the technology that makes the hoverboard really work is explained on the Hendo Hoverboards Kickstarter page:
The magic behind the hoverboard lies in its four disc-shaped hover engines. These create a special magnetic field which literally pushes against itself, generating the lift which levitates our board off the ground.
While our hoverboard is primarily intended to be self-propelled, the actions which stabilize it can also be used to drive it forward by altering the projected force on the surface below.
Currently, this surface needs to be a non-ferromagnetic conductor. Right now we use commonly available metals in a simple sheets, but we are working on new compounds and new configurations to maximize our technology and minimize costs.
That means that while these hoverboards actually levitate about an inch off the ground, they will only hover over certain kinds of surfaces (that's the non-ferromagnetic conductors they're talking about). There will be a Hender Hoverpark (we don't know where) created to allow those who have the board to use it to its full potential, but the company also hopes to someday have hoverboards that are able to hover above anything (yes, even water). Still, for now the board isn't exactly convenient to carry around since it weighs about 100 pounds. And as for any ties to Back to the Future Part II, the company says, "Yep, there was a movie. However, our attorneys have told us not to go there. So this is as far as we’ll take it."
But if this sounds like something you still want to have around the house, how can you get one? Well, the first ten hoverboards have already been guaranteed Kickstarter donors who gave at the $10,000 level. Beyond that, we're not sure how much these will cost, or when the general public will be able to buy one. But right now, if you want to have your own piece of the hoverboard technology to show off at home, you can pay $299 for the Whitebox Developer Kit, which includes “a Hendo hover engine set, and enough surface to hover it on.” So it'll be like having a little hovering box in your house. If you want to help Hendo Hoverboards, head to their Kickstarter page to donate and learn more about the technology. Thoughts?