The Lexus hoverboard is the real deal but you'll never be able to own it

By Shawn Knight
Aug 4, 2015
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  1. Lexus teased the world with what it claimed was a real-life hoverboard back in June. The Slide, as Lexus called it, was said to use superconductors cooled by liquid nitrogen to create an electrical current capable of repelling magnets and thus, creating lift.

    The teaser clip at the time didn’t actually show anyone riding the hoverboard which of course led to many questioning its credibility. After all, the public has been lied to on multiple occasions so we have a right to be skeptical. Also, why would an automaker build a hoverboard?

    The Lexus Slide, as it turns out, is indeed the real deal.

    Lexus invited a number of journalists to a small beach town outside of Barcelona where they constructed a “hoverpark” to try the Slide out for themselves. The park is riddled with magnets just below its surface that allow the board to hover. Without them, the effect isn’t possible. Strike one.

    The Verge also points out that it’s extremely difficult to ride. Processional skater Ross McGouran said he’s been working at it for about six months and still hasn’t fully mastered it. Strike two. Oh, and it has to be constantly cooled with liquid nitrogen. On a hot day, riders can get about 15 minutes out of the board before it needs to be recharged – a process that also takes about 15 minutes. Strike three.

    As for why Lexus would create a hoverboard… it was built to film a commercial around (and generate a ton of media attention). That means it sadly is not for sale. Strike four.

    But hey, it’s a friggin’ hoverboard!

    Permalink to story.

  2. MSIGamer

    MSIGamer TS Rookie


    A look into the future.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,105   +1,375

    Quantum computers also required super-cool temperatures to operate, until recently. Given enough time, perhaps someone will figure out a way to provide enough current without use of super-cooled super-conductors to acquire the necessary lift force.
  4. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 802   +244

    And get rid of the need for magnets in the ground... it's gonna be awhile... especially as there's real interest in getting a quantum computer (so lots of R & D funds will be allocated)... not sure how many will be allocated to a hoverboard...

    BUT I WANT ONE!!!!
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,327   +1,930

    It's nice. That hoverboard has a certain, er... magnetic charm but why the hell is Lexus into something like this, what do they get our of it apart from more exposure by showing off what they're capable of making?
  6. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,132   +478

    I think it goes to that nerd mind set, because we can.

    • Anyways, you need a license to have liquid nitrogen. Strike Four.
    • Not wearing protective gear. Not really a strike but you know some wack-a-doo is going to complain and protest or something.
    • Pulling in the car... I'll just roll my eyes at that.
    • Going over the water. Sweet.....
    • Music was annoying. Strike Five.
  7. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Maniac Posts: 928   +237

    Liquid Nitrogen implies high-temperature superconductors, so it is already part of the way to reality, however, with the magnets in the ground, this would only work at a specialized track such as the one they are running it on - so of all the strikes, this is the biggest one as it would be the most technologically challenging to overcome - IMO.
  8. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,154   +197

    I am guessing the board was limited to a narrow track of magnets built under the park rather than having the freedom to travel the whole park on a bed of magnets.

    The magnetic fields have to be pretty precise.
  9. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,611   +492

    It's just magnetic levitation aka Maglev, this is not new, we have trains that use this, the technology goes back almost 100 years... The only difference is the track and the train have had their roles reversed, and the tracks removed, it's cool, but still very limited given you need magnets embedded where ever you wish to travel.

    As to why Lexus is doing this, isn't it obvious? Lexus has been trying to change their image for the last few years. Lexus was introduced as a luxury brand to appeal to dentist and doctors, they we're stated as being incredibly smooth and sedate, some would call it sophisticated. In recent years however Lexus has been trying to do away with that image due to poor sales, introducing more sporty cars, performance oriented cars, IS series, LFA, F-Sport, ect.

    This Hoverboard is just another attempt to appeal to the younger audience, hopefully sell some CT 200h's to those youths who are now thinking "Wow! Lexus can do that? Maybe their car's aren't so dull and boring after all"

    "driving a Lexus has always been like sitting in a bucket of warm wall paper paste... while reading a Jane Austin novel." Jeremy Clarkson
    Phr3d likes this.
  10. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 802   +244

    Car companies often make stuff that isn't strictly "car" related.... I have a friend who worked for Porsche - they make pens, watches, etc... I remember BMW made a skateboard with independent suspension and shocks on each wheel (no true "skater" would ever be caught dead using it, but it was like $1500)...

    When you have a bunch of awesome engineers whose sole job is to make a car.... you'll end up seeing side-projects when the main work is done :)
    Adhmuz likes this.

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