Where’s my flying hoverboard? (Back to the Future)

From The Daily Beast:

Greg and Jill Henderson, founders of Hendo, have developed a real hoverboard. Yes, the flying skateboard that millions of moviegoers have wished were real since Back to the Future Part II premiered back in 1989 may become the must-have Christmas gift for 2015. Using “hover engines” that create frictionless magnetic fields, the hoverboard only appears to hover an inch or two off a metallic floor. It’s not exactly ready for, or usable on, concrete but everything has to start somewhere.

There is more here.  It needs something like a copper sheet below it.  There are different accounts here, with varying degrees of enthusiasm or lack thereof, I found this one useful.  Still, this is more progress than we were seeing a year ago.


OK, so I assume an AC magnetic field induces an eddy current in the conducting substrate, which produces its own magnetic field. And somehow we arrange the phases such that these two magnets repel. How do they get the phases right?

Your recent posts seem to me to have been unaccustomedly dull, Mr Cowen. Is it you or me?

It's you.

Why do you say so? Do you think his posts have always been dull?

It's always been pretty dull.

Jetpacks don't work so well either. But I think it's still possible to buy or rent them?

Sometimes the future's just not what it used to be.

Technologically, it is more Scott Westerfeld (Uglies, Pretties, Specials, Extras), whose books feature hover boards of an almost identical design and concept, than Back to the Future.

Just curious. Why flying cars, hoverboards and jetpacks are the "future"? Why are we too analytical with dreams from the 2000s (green energy) and really forgiving with the baby boomer's dreams (flying cars, hoverboars)?

If it is truly frictionless, how do you balance on them? A slight lean in any direction will cause it to slip out from under you like standing on a surfboard that isn't moving. Skateboards work because they only move along a single axis, but this hover board looks like a moving rolo-bolo on 3 axises.

I built one of these in shop class in high school ...


Can anyone think of another example of a fictional date tied to a fictional innovation that drove the actual innovation as the real date drew closer?


I don't remember Marty Mcfly only being able to use his board for 7 minutes, before the battery ran out. Do better science.

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