The Lexus SLIDE hoverboard has gained a ton of attention lately. That's probably because:
- It actually hovers
- Lexus has a huge marketing budget to promote it
It definitely caught our attention. We'll take a look at the technology behind this hoverboard, and more importantly, when normal people like us might be able to get our hands on one.
How the Lexus SLIDETechnology Works
The technology behind the Lexus SLIDE is truly amazing. The board uses a combination of superconductors, magnets and liquid nitrogen to achieve the hovering effect.
Essentially, the liquid nitrogen cools the superconductors to a temperature where they can operate. Magnets are placed in a track below the board. When cooled to the right temperature the board will actually hover at a consistent height above the magnetic track. You can find detailed video explanations on the Lexus website.
The complexity of this technology brings us to an important question. Can it be scaled?
Let's be honest. We all want to be Marty McFly.
At the moment, the future of the Lexus SLIDE outside of designated tracks seems distant. The track featured in the video above was built in Barcelona, Spain. It likely required a large investment of time and money.
This is a very high maintenance hoverboard. Not only does it require a magnetic track, but it also needs to be refilled with liquid nitrogen from time to time (currently about every 10 minutes).
When Will the Lexus Slide be Available for Sale?
There's been no word as to a potential consumer release date for the Lexus SLIDE hoverboard. It's hard to tell if the board was created as a real prototype for a product, or simply for publicity stunt.
The amount of money spent marketing the SLIDE without an intent to sell it makes it look a lot like a publicity stunt.
Let's hope that's not the case. After all, there are hoverboard prototypes out there with logical paths to market (Zapata Racing Flyboard air, Hendo Hoverboard). With a functioning hoverboard in hand, Lexus definitely doesn't want to be left out of this race.