It was pointed out to me that the Lexus hoverboard appears to work on any surface, which would be quite an achievement considering the laws of physics.
Checking up on the hoverboard and footage of it, it does indeed seem like Lexus tried making it seem like it would work anywhere. However it won’t. The skatepark in which the initial video was filmed has been converted to work with the hoverboard.
The hoverboard uses magnetic levitation, or maglev, to achieve levitation. Liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors are combined with a magnetic surface to essentially repel gravity.
It is not the first one to do so, last year we had the Hendo hoverboard for example.
Maglev technology is also hardly new, you probably heard of maglev trains, but the effect of levitating superconductors has been known for far longer. The levitation itself isn’t an amazing feat, however keeping the hoverboard stable with a person on top, that’s pretty cool.
But yeah, if you thought the actual hoverboard which we will all ride around on the streets is here, I’m afraid not Marty.
The final video shows just how hard it is to ride this hoverboard. “A skateboard has got resistance. Even with a surfboard, you’ve got the resistance of water,” says David Nordstrom, a general manager for global branding at Lexus International in Tokyo. “This is essentially floating on air. If you’ve ever tried to stand on a board, or something on water without any momentum, that’s what this kind of feels like.”
The technology is described in more detail in this Discovery TestTube video:
So why did they make a hoverboard? Simple marketing. And it clearly worked with the video going viral almost instantly.