Lexus says it made a real hoverboard, but there's a catch

Earlier this week, Lexus revealed in a video that it had created a “real, rideable hoverboard” called Slide. The company didn’t reveal much else, only that it would be testing out the board this summer in Barcelona. 

The big reveal garnered a lot of attention, but it also raised a lot of questions. Specifically, how does the device work?

While the company didn’t share many details about it’s flying skateboard, it did say the technology behind the board is magnetic levitation. It uses liquid-nitrogen-cooled semiconductors and magnets to move around.

But in the video the company released on Tuesday the board appears to be levitating above concrete in a skatepark, which left a lot of folks asking how exactly that works given there need to be a magnetic surface for the whole thing to work. 

Well, thanks to some sleuthing from the spanish website El Patin, we now are getting some answers. 

According to El Patin, the company’s test site is appears to be a normal-looking skatepark located in a village called Cubelles just outside of Barcelona. But the skatepark is actually far from normal. 

The entire unfinished park is lined with a metal track. The track even appears to be embeded in the quarter pipe shown in one of the photos on El Patin’s website. Presumably, the Lexus hoverboard can’t actually float over cement, but needs to glide along the embedded track.

So don’t be fooled by Lexus’ teaser video you saw this week. It’s likely Lexus buried a magnetic track under the pavement in order to provide the illusion the board can hover over a normal surface.

Lexus hasn’t revealed exactly what else it intends to do with the park besides testing, but did say in a statement to Business Insider that the hoverboard is not a consumer product and will not go on sale. However, the device will be featured in an ad campaign with a Lexus vehicle that will be for sale. 

Head over to El Patin’s website to check out images of the unfinished skatepark or check out Lexus video below. 

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