Luxurious Levitation With The Lexus Hoverboard
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About 12 months ago or more, a practical joker released footage of someone riding a hoverboard. He got several inches off the ground and people were amazed.
The footage was later revealed to be nothing more than a joke and now the world is right to wonder about new ideas from Lexus and Arx Pax. Could these two companies possibly have released a real hoverboard? Is the technology real after all?
Movement in Technology
Visit the Lexus website for information about their newest vehicle, this one designed without wheels and meant to carry one passenger at a time. The Lexus Hoverboard won’t be coming to a Walmart near you any time soon and Lexus is unwilling to put a price on their product for the time being either. Perhaps Donald Trump or Bill Gates could afford one, but not your run-of-the-mill wealthy individual. Even if you could afford one, could you ride it?
Ross McGouran, test-rider and skateboarder, reported this is not the same thing as a skateboard with the wheels missing. There is no resistance. He had to relearn everything he knew about boarding to stay on the Lexus Hoverboard as he traversed a custom-designed track.
Making the Track
A hoverboard relies on an opposing magnetic field to get air which means there are magnets in the board and magnets on the track. From the outside, Lexus designed a beautiful skateboard park without the graffiti you have come to expect from a city park. Inside, though, this is a very different structure.
Lexus installed an insulated core of high temperature superconducting blocks held inside a core of liquid nitrogen at minus 197ºC. That’s high-tech stuff indeed: Maglev technology, to be exact.
The Future of a Lexus Hoverboard
Why would Lexus undertake this project at all if they have no intention of releasing it to the public?
They probably plan to develop cheaper technology which they can sell to the general customer, or at least consumers who can afford to pay several thousand dollars for the privilege. One problem people will experience, however, is that without a sidewalk offering opposing magnetic forces there is no way to use their boards.
Will communities have to install new magnetic skate parks and make them available by exclusive membership? Are home owners going to knock down tennis courts to make way for special hoverboard tracks? Would Microsoft and Google give their employees a place appropriate for high-tech board breaks?
Some viewers might be more interested in finding out if Lexus has the lofty plans pitched by Arx Pax to develop their technology to the point it can be used for the good of mankind.
Far from being a gratuitous invention, Greg Henderson’s patented MFA (Magnetic Field Architecture) was born from an idea of moving whole buildings: apartments, condos, hospitals, and schools. He would see people removed from the path of floods and earthquakes using the same technology that allows skateboarder Tony Hawk to levitate on his team’s Hendo Hoverboard.
The Lexus Advantage
Lexus is backed by the financial security of being a car manufacturer: they are not dependent on results of their hoverboard trials. If the board never goes to the open market, that won’t matter. If researchers and designers there want to fiddle with the design for years, they have facilities and money. Meanwhile, Arx Pax and others coming along behind them gain legitimacy by association.