Famous movie trilogy “Back to the future” has shown many futuristic inventions, but one seems to have captured imagination of many the most. It is the famous hoverboard – a skateboard without any wheels, floating above the ground, providing frictionless movement. It may be a distant dream as it is hard to imagine how such device could be made with today’s technology, but people have not stopped dreaming. And there are prototypes, one of which is particularly intriguing.
Japanese luxury automotive brand Lexus collaborated with world’s leading experts in super conductive technology and created the most advanced hoverboard that there currently is. Mark Templin, Executive Vice President at Lexus International said that Lexus is always trying to push boundaries of what is understood as impossible.
Company is constantly looking for partnerships that would help accomplish this goal and is pushing forward with different technologies with its own projects, such as LFA supercar, which surprised the world with its use of composite materials and engine technologies. Templin said, “That determination, combined with our passion and expertise for design and innovation, is what led us to take on the Hoverboard project. It’s the perfect example of the amazing things that can be achieved when you combine technology, design and imagination”. And this achievement is quite significant indeed – we do not see levitating objects every day and so far only levitating trains have been extensively used.
As levitating trains, this Lexus Hoverboard works using principles of magnetic levitation. This technology is used to achieve frictionless movement as well as levitation, which captured imagination of many fans of science fiction. This hoverboard also uses liquid nitrogen to cool superconductors, which, combined with permanent magnets, allowed Lexus to create what seemed to be impossible. It is still not stated what requirements are for the surface the hoverboard would be used on for levitation to work properly. However, despite this being mostly technological exercise, luxury car brand did not forget about the design.
Company wanted the hoverboard to be recognizable Lexus product with its distinctive styling features. Such as the iconic Lexus spindle grille signature shape. Materials used are from Lexus car manufacturing experience as well, from the high tech materials from sports cars to natural bamboo.
Lexus Hoverboard was created as part of company’s ‘Amazing in Motion’ campaign, which was established to showcase the creativity and innovation of the brand. Lexus is planning to conduct testing of the hoverboard in Barcelona, Spain over the coming weeks until summer 2015. However, “Back to the future” fans and geeks have to contain their enthusiasm, because it will still take a lot of time till this project will be available for customers. In fact, Lexus is very straight forward and denies possibilities of this becoming a real product – they say that the Hoverboard is just a prototype and will not be on sale.