Back in June, Lexus gave the world a very brief glimpse of what looked a lot like a real life hoverboard. Now the brand has revealed the full scope of this incredibly elaborate R&D project dubbed “SLIDE.”
The video, directed by Henry-Alex Rubin, features pro skateboarder Ross McGouran riding in a custom-built hoverpark which includes some jumps, ramps, bowls, and even a water feature. It doesn’t look like the smoothest ride in the world, but Marty McFly would still be pretty proud.
The company has said it’s this kind of research that may eventually lead us to our promised George Jetson future, but for now we’ll have to settle for this marketing stunt. Lexus began exploring prototypes for its hoverboard more than a year ago with its agency CHI&Partners, collaborating with a team of magnetic levitation scientists from IFW Dresden and evico GmbH. The hoverboard uses a combination of liquid nitrogen-cooled super conductors and permanent magnets to float. According to a company statement, the technology features two “cryostats,” reservoirs in which superconducting material is kept at minus-197 degrees through immersion in liquid nitrogen. Hence, the smoking board. The board is then placed above a track that contains permanent magnets. Evico CEO Dr Oliver de Haas said in the statement, “The magnetic field from the track is effectively ‘frozen’ into the superconductors in the board, maintaining the distance between the board and the track—essentially keeping the board hovering. This force is strong enough to allow the rider to stand and even jump on the board.”