A hoverboard looks a lot like a skateboard but doesn’t have wheels. Back in 2015, these self-balancing scooters (that’s another name they were given) were being manufactured by different companies for all age ranges. For example, for young children, Mattel made orange and pink models with handlebars. Then, you had other companies that were creating more aggressive boards that were being used by the “bad boys.”
Self-motorized scooters work similarly to skateboard in the fact that they need momentum by the rider. Who is responsible for the popularity in hoverboards anyways? Who originally thought of the idea? Well, do you remember Back to the Future II? All we’re going to say is “the hoverboard scene.”
In the Back to the Future trilogy, you will find Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) gliding around on a hoverboard in order to escape gang members during the year 2015. Moving forward, McFly revisited the year 1955 and used the hoverboard to glide in order to take a Sports Almanac book away from Biff Tannen who planned on using it to take over Hill Valley. In Party III (1990), during the year 1885, you have Doc Brown who rides the hoverboard in order to save Clara from falling off of the locomotive.
In Back to the Future Part II and III for the NES (yes, this is an old game), players can find the hoverboard and ride it. The hoverboard makes Marty invincible to any enemy for a short period of time before it disappears. Also, the hoverboard was one of the 30 items that completed the missing puzzle pieces. Then, back in 2010, Back to the Future: The Game was released by Telltale Games– this game was based on the Back to the Future trilogy – it was released in a total of 5 episodes starting in December of 2010 and ending in June 2011. In the final episode, the hoverboard was used in order to prevent Edna from escaping in a DeLorean while being chased by Doc and Marty in their DeLorean.
MartymcflyhoverboardIf you’ve never seen the movie, this may be a spoiler for you. Personally, we don’t like knowing how things work in a movie before we watch it because this takes the “magic” out of it. In an interview with Robert Zemeckis, he joked that hoverboards were real. This caused a frenzy amongst the Back to the Future fans as they search through local toy stores – Mr. Zemeckis eventually has to explain the joke and tell everyone that these hoverboards don’t actually exist.
As one may have guessed, the effect was achieved by using wires in order to support the actors. These wires were digitally erased. The actors dangled from wires with a hoverboard prop that was strapped to their feet. In some scenes, the board was mounted on a pole that was attached to a truck while the actor was wearing a harness.
So yes, unfortunately, the hoverboards you witnessed in the movie were just that, a digital magic trick. Until now?
Wait a second, we’re not saying that real-life hoverboards are never going to exist – in due time, as technology increases, you never know what’s going to happen. Back in October of 2015, a company called Hendo announced that they were working on a prototype hoverboard that would be capable of hovering one inch off the ground (without “magic” strings attached). The Hendo Hover used technology that was developed by Hendo’s parent company, Arx Pax. It relies on specially-lined copper floors and magnetic fields – it is similar to the techniques that are used by fast trains in order to prevent them from touching the tracks. The company has launched a Kickstarter campaign called “help put the finishing touches on the Hendo hoverboard, to help us produce them, and to create placed to ride them.” In no time at all, the company received ten backers pledging $10,000 each in order to receive the first production of the hoverboards. To date, this product has been successfully funded with more than double the company’s original $250,000 goal being pledged.
So who knows, maybe the “Back to the Future” hoverboard will become reality – only time will tell.