After crushing the hearts of "Back to the Future II" fans everywhere earlier this year with his too-good-to-be-true hoverboard announcement, Tony Hawk is making it up to us with a demo of some actual levitation technology.
The pro skateboarder recently tried out the Hendo Hover, a $10,000 prototype hoverboard that's currently in the proof-of-concept stage. According to inventor Greg Henderson, the technology relies upon magnetic fields to achieve levitation (about 1''), meaning it currently won't work over anything but non-ferrous materials like aluminum or copper.
"What we’re doing is we have a primary magnetic field and then we are creating a second magnet field in the conductive surface," Henderson told journalist Dave Carnie, who attended the demo with Hawk. "There are four hover engines [on the bottom of the board], and that’s how we create that magnetic field in the surface we are riding on."
As Hawk demonstrates in the video, while the Hendo is a lot of fun, it's definitely not something that will easily allow you to escape from Griff and his goons. Henderson, however, says the point of creating it in its current form was to draw interest to the technology; which he foresees as having larger impacts in other industries.
“Transportation is obvious,” he told Carnie, “but factory automation is another important one. The underlying technology can go into all sorts of areas you would never imagine—in health care, for instance, food processing, and, our personal favorite, seismic isolation: hovering buildings."
A Kickstarter recently launched by Hendo has already plowed through its original goal of $250,000 — racking up $459,000 with 26 days to go. To learn more about the technology and the future applications it holds, check out Hendo's official site here.
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