DailyDirt: Hoverboards Are Real!

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The "magic" of magnets have been observed for quite some time, but it's not actually an easily explained phenomenon that magnets can repel and attract in various configurations. Still, we can take advantage of this property of magnets, and create some amazing tricks of levitation that seemingly defy gravity. We could have a commercial hoverboard for kids to play with (as an actual toy) pretty soon, and we could potentially have some other even cooler devices based on "hover" technology. If only we could get a Mr. Fusion device together.... If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

Filed Under: halbach array, high speed rail, hover technology, hoverboard, maglev, magnetic levitation, magnets, transportation
Companies: arx pax, hendo, northeast maglev


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 6:12pm

    what the...?

    Hmm. The hoverboard patent looks like it should work, but how is it that no one has done it before (or since the Inductrack was invented)? off to go find some rare earth magnets and some motors now....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 27 Oct 2014 @ 9:37pm

    NYC to Washington in an hour

    You can already get from NYC to Washington in an hour by plane. All the rest is check-in and security theatre, and I see no reason why those should be different with a high-profile transport system like a maglev train.

    There is the commute from the airport one might save, yes, but putting maglev tracks in central NYC is not really a convincing option either even though the actual port will eat up less area. So the commute will be necessary with maglev as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 2:02am

    Yeah, you can use a hoverboard in a very controlled environment. Meh. Still, it's awesome that it's being developed. I wish to be alive when this shit gets real. HOVER WHEELCHAIR!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2014 @ 9:55am

    When I first saw the headline I thought it said hoover - can I have a vacuum board that floats above my floors? lol

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 11:33am

    Real, but REALLY impractical

    They yammer incessantly about how their hoverboard is real, that it actually hovers over an "inactive non-ferrous" surface. They're like the sleight-of-hand con-artist trying to divert your attention from the REAL trick - the fact that you have to coat EVERY bit of area you wish to "hover" over with a conductive, non-ferrous, metal (the patent uses copper as an example in one place that's never mentioned again). Yeah, I'm going to spend hundreds of thousands covering my yard in copper so the kids can hover one inch over the yard on their $10,000 board that they'll be sick of in two days since it will ONLY work in the yard due to the needed metal coverage.

    Save yourself a lot of money and a headache - buy a regular damn skate board and report these morons to whoever is supposed to keep rip-offs like this off kickstarter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2014 @ 5:44pm

      Re: Real, but REALLY impractical

      Well said. It's nothing but an outrageously expensive toy.

      Indeed, this so-called "inventor" talks more like a late-night infomercial huckster, big on imagery and fanciful dreams but scarce on actual details of what he's selling. The promotional videos never discuss what's actually "under the hood" and the only way donors/buyers can learn anything about how it's constructed is to read the patent.

      The Hoverboard, as presented, is something that most any handyman with a typical garage workshop could make for a tiny fraction of the $10,000 price charged. Like many of these "crowd-funded" projects, it comes off as just another sucker-bait designed to part fools from their money.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Michael Ho (profile), 29 Oct 2014 @ 6:22pm

        Re: Re: Real, but REALLY impractical

        This particular hoverboard may be a hoax of some kind, but it may be possible to someday have hovercrafts that don't require blowing air systems... and Toyota might be looking into it:
        http://www.theverge.com/2014/6/9/5793494/toyota-has-been-investigating-cars-that-hover-above-the- road

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2014 @ 9:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: Real, but REALLY impractical

          Whatever Toyota might be researching, there is simply no advantage to making cars "lighter" -- in fact car designers try hard to do the opposite. Sports cars typically use aerodynamic add-ons such as air dams and spoilers to push the car harder against the road for improved tire grip and cornering ability.

          Otherwise, most cars, including the famously airplane-wing shaped Volkswagen Beetle, get increasing lighter the faster their speed, making high-speed travel even more dangerous.

          The singlemost practical use of magnetic levitation yet conceived is high-speed trains, though with the efficiency of modern wheel bearings continuing to improve, even that's debatable, especially when cost is factored in.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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