'Great Scott!' You can buy a hoverboard? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Great Scott!' You can buy a hoverboard?

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Hendo unveiled a hoverboard. They have launched a Kickstarter campaign to perfect the technology. (PHOTO: Kickstarter/Hendo) Hendo unveiled a hoverboard. They have launched a Kickstarter campaign to perfect the technology. (PHOTO: Kickstarter/Hendo)
SPOKANE, Wash. - As I'm writing this article, the date is October 21, 2014. We are one year and five days away from when Marty McFly went thirty years into the future. In the second installment of Back to the Future, Marty finds himself in a much different Hill Valley from the 1985 he's used to. There are flying cars. The Cubs won the World Series (beating Miami, which at the time of filming didn't have a baseball team, but they have the Marlins now), and the film Jaws was on it's 19th chapter ("shark still looks fake.") 

There was the retro 80's cafe, self-drying jackets, power-lace shoes, and a weather service more reliable than the postal service. Yeah, 30 years into the future sure looked great in 1985. Well, now we about a year away from that time, and while we may not have flying cars, there is one piece of technology that may just become a reality before next year: the hoverboard. 

Hendo Hover, a company in Silicon Valley, California, has created what they are calling the world's first real hoverboard. Just like Marty McFly had! Sort of. The company launched a kickstarter campaign, to get additional funds for the project to make hoverboards a reality. They are looking to get $250,000 in the next 54 days, and so far they are off to a good start. At the time of this posting, they had more than $104,000. What do you get if you contribute to their project? Everything from a virtual "thank you" and pat on the back ($5) to an actual functioning hoverboard ($10,000). Donations in the middle range from a t-shirt to a quick ride on a hoverboard.

Now this first hoverboard isn't exactly like Marty's. It does have limitations.

"Hey McFly! Those boards don't work on water! Unless you got power!"

True. Much like Marty's hoverboard, these ones will not work on water. In fact, it only works on certain surfaces. The current prototype will hover about 3cm off the ground carrying up to about two people for around 15 minutes using a strong magnetic field to repulse the ground-based material. So it will only float over non-ferrous metals such as copper or aluminum. Sorry if you were looking to grab on to the back of a Jeep while cranking Huey Lewis and go for a joyride. 

And again, it can be yours for only $10,000, but you better hurry because 5 of the 10 planned for production have already been claimed. You never know when you might need it for grabbing a sports almanac out of a bully's car while barreling down a tunnel only to be saved at the last second by a scientist in a flying DeLorean who dropped down a rope of colorful flags a split second before being run over by the same bully in his 1946 Ford. Or perhaps you're in a locomotive trying to get back to the future, but your scientist friend hears the woman he loves calling him from the back of the train and goes back to save her, only to have her lose her balance and dangle from the train trying to get up to the necessary 88 miles per hour, so you throw your hoverboard back to your scientist friend who inexplicably catches it with his foot, grabs his woman and peacefully floats off like he's been hoverboarding his whole life and says goodbye moments before you go over a cliff and get sent back to the future. Seriously. $10,000 doesn't seem like a very steep price anymore does it? 

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