Lexus made a big splash when it revealed in a brief promo video that it was working on a hoverboard in June.
The company even built a special skatepark to show off the device.
On Tuesday, we finally got a full-length video showcasing the hoverboard in action. But according to journalists who tried the hoverboard out in real life, the board comes with a few catches.
For starters, the skatepark itself is deceiving. The park is actually built out of wood and just painted to look like cement. Magnetic strips line the park under the wood.
The technology behind the hoverboard is magnetic levitation, so it uses liquid-nitrogen-cooled semiconductors to glide above the magnets. This means, you can’t just hover wherever you want. You will have to stay in this customised skatepark to use the board.
And according to a report from The Verge, the board can only hover for about 20 minutes, or until all of the liquid nitrogen evaporates. So you’re looking at a pretty brief time at the skatepark.
But the real kicker is riding the board itself seems to be pretty difficult. The journalist who tried the device for The Verge wrote it felt more like “balancing on a tightrope” and that smooth gliding only came in short increments.
Now, from the time Lexus said it was working on a hoverboard, they made it clear that this would never be a consumer device and that it was solely being built for the purpose of advertising. But according to a report from The Verge, Lexus actually hired an advertising company to produce the ad for the board and apparently the ad agency is the one who worked with scientists to create the board.
So, while the latest hoverboard reveal looks impressive, just remember there was a lot of behind the scenes magic to make that really fancy ad.
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