Lexus has created a real, rideable hoverboard.
The description mostly hypes an associated project "Slide" and offers ways to follow it. The short video itself implies something more specific:
- Someone wearing casual trainers rides a regular skateboard over concrete which looks like a street or skate park, then steps off
- They step towards a slim "hoverboard" which appears to be floating about 1cm above the ground (which appears to be ordinary concrete), and is rocking slightly, emitting some sort of exhaust
- They appear to be stepping on to it, as if it can be ridden above concrete as easily and casually as the earlier skateboard, then the footage ends
I'm rather skeptical... However, this does appear to be a genuine promotion by a major technology company, being taken seriously by mainstream media.
Is it true that Lexus have a prototype "real, rideable hoverboard" that looks like the sleek item in the video and that someone can just step on and ride on regular concrete wearing regular trainers? (Even if only for a few seconds?)
This Wired article claims the device is real but only works on magnetized surfaces using similar technology to maglev trains - however, the article appears to be based on expert speculation, not evidence. It does, however, allude to a conversation with a Lexus spokesperson Maurice Durand who allegedly confirmed this is part of an ad campaign for an as-yet not announced car, and does not involve new or novel technology.
The above linked BBC article also mentions magnets and superconductors, and suggests the video was filmed in a "modified skatepark in Barcelona", which is consistent with the idea that it is real but has similar limitations to maglev i.e. needing a special surface, but doesn't confirm anything about the hoverboard's usability or limitations.