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Hoverboards Get Real, Really!

Ever since Marty McFly hoverboarded through time in Back to the Future II, sci-fi fans have been dreaming of a real-life floating skateboard to call their own. Startup Hendo Hover is looking to make that dream a reality; the company's Kickstarter is raising funds for a fully-functional hoverboard, which could let you live out your futuristic fantasies by late 2015. 

Dubbed simply the Hendo Hoverboard, the gadget uses four circular hover engines, which create a unique magnetic field that levitates the board about an inch off the ground. The hoverboard's current prototype is black and chunky, with textured foot grips at the top and a bright blue glow that emanates from the bottom. It's not quite as sexy as the hoverboard in your geeky dreams, but, based on Hendo's renderings, the board's final build could look like a sleeker version of what McFly once zoomed around on.

MORE: Weirdest Kickstarter Campaigns of 2014

But Hendo isn't just trying to sell you its own hoverboard. The company's Kickstarter page also offers the Whitebox developer kit, which lets creators use the tech behind Hendo Hoverboard as they see fit. The Whitebox+ kit takes things further by adding remote hover control via an iOS or Android app, allowing you to create, say, a replica Star Wars Landspeeder that you can pilot around the house like an RC car.

If you're absolutely aching to try Hendo Hoverboard, you can spend $100 on Kickstarter to ride the gizmo for five minutes at Hendo's Silicon Valley headquarters or "potentially at a hoverpark near you in the future." $300 gets you the Whitebox developer kit, while the Whitebox+ starts at $700. Hendo offered 10 production units of the actual hoverboard for anyone who had $10,000 lying around, and they're all gone already.

Despite being wildly expensive, Hendo's hoverboard technology could make many a childhood dream come true, and could help innovate anything from toys to transportation once it's in the hands of developers. If Hendo reaches its $250,000 goal by Dec. 15, the hoverboards will start shipping in Oct. 2015 -- coincidentally the same exact month and year that Marty McFly found himself in during Back to the Future II.

Source: Kickstarter

Mike Andronico is an Associate Editor at Tom's Guide. Follow Mike @MikeAndronico and on Google+. Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+

  • TechyInAZ
    Interesting. However if it it's only magnetized then you can only "fly" on metal and not other surfaces like grass or concrete.
    Reply
  • Quyaan
    Interesting. However if it it's only magnetized then you can only "fly" on metal and not other surfaces like grass or concrete.
    Not true, with a strong enough magnetic field you can repel yourself from planet to planet to travel through space.
    Reply
  • wiyosaya
    Interesting. However if it it's only magnetized then you can only "fly" on metal and not other surfaces like grass or concrete.
    Not true, with a strong enough magnetic field you can repel yourself from planet to planet to travel through space.
    LOL! Science expert, I see.

    Frankly, I see this as a scam where the people that have put this project out there are counting on people not knowing their science and that anyone with $10K to invest in this better be absolutely sure that they have gone to a demo and ridden this thing.

    With today's technology, this falls among the "not by the current laws of physics." The power source, counting losses in the device, is astronomically unlikely to be that small.
    Reply
  • Zaranthos
    I'm no expert on magnetism or magnetic fields but I see a lot of claims they are making that I don't see the laws of physics allowing for. It requires a conductive surface that isn't magnetic. They really don't explain how the technology works at least in a way I could understand. Magnetic engines? OK, so they have four electromagnets producing magnetic fields they manipulate. I get that much. Are they inducing an opposing magnetic field in the conductive surface? Won't this require a LOT of power? Is the surface powered or just the engines via batteries? I don't see current battery technology supplying enough power to lift a 250 pound person for any length of time including the weight of the board and batteries.

    Are they powering the surface so the limited board power provides enough repelling magnetic force to provide the lift? Is this an elaborately designed kickstarter hoax? They claim to one day duplicate this over land and even water. How? Unicorns and pixie dust?
    Reply
  • bloodroses75
    They forgot to mention that it only works on specialized surfaces designed specifically for that board....
    Reply
  • Evolution2001
    From their Kickstarter page...
    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.
    Reply
  • Evolution2001
    It's kind of like a maglev, but using slightly different theory or methods to achieve lift. Whereas maglev uses electromagnetic force to move a non-electrified magnetic object, the Hendo unit uses electromagnetic force generation on the object to repel it from a non-ferromagnetic surface such as the alloy surfaces used in the video.

    I could see them selling the boards and then building an infrastructure of licensed skate parks where people could go use them, similar to traditional skate parks or the new trampoline/bounce parks that are popping up.
    Reply
  • hajila
    Everyone knows, hover boards don't work on water... Unless you've got power!
    Reply
  • Soul_keeper
    For $10,000, not counting the cost of a copper sidewalk everywhere, I'll pass.
    The noise is louder than my truck too.
    Reply
  • fcabanski
    Silver Surfer originally donated some money to a kickstarter project. The rest is history.
    Reply