After the HUVr and Hendo Hoax., now Lexus says it's made a REAL hoverboard: 'The Slide'

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but a company has created a working, honest-to-god-it's-real hoverboard. It's called "Slide," and it's made by Lexus.

There's not much information about it aside from a microsite, a promotional video, and a few photos of the thing. The marketing stunt is part of a broader art-meets-technology type of campaign currently being run by the company. The Slide site says the board creates "frictionless movement" using magnetic levitation. Inside the board you'd find magnets, it says, some of which are liquid nitrogen-cooled superconducting.

If Lexus is pulling our chain, the company has at least taken a stab in the right direction with the supposed physics of this thing. Magnetic levitation, and more specifically the levitation of superconducting magnets are real technologies. Therefore, it seems easy to draw the line from one frozen, floating, magnetic brick to using a few of them to lift some wood and grip tape off the ground. Even if this is what's going on, Lexus is still using some slight-of-hand here; the hoverboard would need a corresponding magnetic track to work. You presumably wouldn't be able to take Slide to the local skate park for a few Smith grinds.

It's okay if you're skeptical — you should be. The internet's been burned on this before. First there was HUVr, which cleverly used Christopher Lloyd and skating icon Tony Hawk to sell the internet on the idea that a real working hoverboard had been created. (Of course HUVr, for some reason, wound up being a Funny or Die sketch.) Then there was Hendo, the hoverboard that kind of actually worked, albeit with the massive caveat that the thing could only fly if the floor is covered in copper.

The hoverboard is something of a sacred symbol of the captial-F "Future," a theoretical yardstick that we measure our technological progress against. By channeling it, Lexus has accomplished at least one of its goals: we're talking about Lexus. Here's hoping that, for the company's next trick, it wants to really talk about Slide.



By Sean O'Kane, The Verge


TECHNOLOGY 5378413491541800451

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