Lexus, the American luxury carmaker owned by Toyota, has released the first teaser video of a hoverboard that it has been developing over the last 18 months. Named ‘Slide’, Lexus is yet to reveal much information about the hoverboard which is still in prototype stage.
Much has been spoken about this new technology, and parallels are being drawn to the movie, ‘Back to the Future 2’. The Slide, however, is nothing like the technology that was shown in the movie, although 2015 is almost halfway through to the future landscape depicted by the movie. Slide is powered by magnets, that make the board levitate through magnetic induction and reverse polarity. The magnets are cooled by liquid nitrogen, which explains the billowing mist seen around the board in the video uploaded by Lexus. Watch it here:
Lexus is also building a skatepark in Cubelles, a Spanish village on the outskirts of Barcelona. While the initial video roused interest, with the skateboard appearing to hover above concrete ground. Verge later reported with a photo of the skating arena, showing a metal strip running all around the arena, across various contours. Lexus has claimed that Slide can be controlled in terms of direction, a feat that was not achieved in previous hoverboards.
The Hendo hoverboard was an initial attempt at the futuristic technology, which hovered about an inch above a metal surface, but could not be controlled in terms of direction and speed. Attaining levitation without a magnetic base, however, still remains a challenge. Slide is a product of Lexus’ Amazing in Motion research project, with teams based in Germany and London working on it to make skateboarding aerial.
Getting such boards into the commercial marketspace, however, seems a distant dream for now - firstly, getting magnetic strips to replace pavement bricks doesn’t seem viable right now, and secondly, Lexus has said that Slide will not be for sale.