There is a kickstarter for what is claimed to be the “World’s first Hoverboard” and so far it has managed to pull in 2,520 backers and $416,877.
Sounds impressive, oh but wait, what exactly is the technology here, what is going on?
If you read it all carefully, then you soon find that this is all simply magnets (Gosh how do they work, it must be F***ing magic). The theory behind this is not new and dates back as far as the 1840s, to the work of Charles Wheatstone at King’s College in London.
A feasible linear induction motor is described in the US patent 782312 ( 1905 – inventor Alfred Zehden of Frankfurt-am-Main ), for driving trains or lifts. The German engineer Hermann Kemper built a working model in 1935. In the late 1940s, professor Eric Laithwaite of Imperial College in London developed the first full-size working model. They have also been running MagLev trains since the last 1970s in Japan.
There is nothing new here at all, in a single sided version, a magnetic field can create repulsion forces that push the conductor away from the stator, levitating it, and carrying it along in the direction of the moving magnetic field. Laithewaite called the later versions of it magnetic river back in the 1940s.
So in essence, this is really not new at all, they will of course give you a small beta version that looks like this if you pledge $149 or more …
It really is not what you think it is
OK, so all you have here is a board that works using electromagnetic induction and that means that if it is to actually work, then you must have underneath it a conductive surface.
They are open about that and do explain it as follows …
Currently, this surface needs to be a non-ferromagnetic conductor. Right now we use commonly available metals in simple sheets, but we are working on new compounds and new configurations to maximize our technology and minimize costs.
The use of the word “currently” in the above is the bit I really have a strong objection to, because what that appears to imply is that they are more or less claiming that they will soon be changing the laws of physics, so it is on that basis that I label this to be a kickstarter for the gullible. The surface underneath will always need to be “a non-ferromagnetic conductor” and that is simply not going to change … ever.
There are rather a lot of backers here who are going to be mightily disappointed by all this … especially the 11 who have pledged over $10,000