Ever since Marty McFly got his hands on a hoverboard in ‘Back to the Future’ people have been desperately waiting for this futuristic dream to become a reality. Earlier this year a product stormed the market which claimed to have finally realised this dream. The self-balancing scooter is a hybrid of the Segway and a traditional skateboard that is battery powered and works by responding the user’s instructions by recognising their balance. The product itself does look extremely similar to the hoverboard seen in the cult movie. However, there is one key difference, the real life ‘hoverboard’ has wheels! Surely that alone shows that it’s not actually a hoverboard at all because it uses wheels to roll across the floor, but many users would disagree.
Are self-balancing scooters hoverboards?
Pretty much as soon as the self-balancing scooters came on to the market people were renaming them as hoverboards as this trend has not stated within the realms of the general public as many celebrity users have also picked up on the name. One of the main reasons that they are considered to be hoverboards is obviously to do with how the products look, as they look almost identical to the hoverboard seen in ‘Back to the Future’ only with wheels added. Another reason is to do with the feel of the scooters. Although the scooter itself is technically touching the floor, the rider isn’t. By standing on the top of the scooter the rider will get the feeling of hovering above the ground as they are moving along. So even though, the scooter is technically rolling, the idea that it hovers is demonstrated by how it feels to ride it.
However, it is important to look at the technical aspects of the scooter as well as the way it feels to ride. The pure facts of the matter are that because the scooter works using wheels that roll across the floor it doesn’t actually hover at all and therefore shouldn’t be considered a hoverboard. Even the best self balancing scooters don’t quite live up to it but if you are wanting to purchase one then you should read some reviews first.
Will hoverboards ever be a reality?
As much as self-balancing scooters may give the illusion of a hoverboard experience, they are still technically not hoverboards. So will there ever be an opportunity to fully float above the ground? Apparently there might be. A technology company is rumoured to have created a real life hoverboard which will be available to purchase in the next couple of years. The innovative design uses magnetic technology which means that it can only be used on top of a pre-prepared metal surface. The cost of doing this as well as the cost of the hoverboard itself which is thought to be an eye watering $10,000 dollars will definitely set you back a few bob. However, if you’ve got the cash it might be worth it to get the real ‘Back to the Future Experience’. However, for now we can content ourselves with the knowledge that we have something that is almost as good as the real thing. The induction of the self-balancing scooter was a surprise for most general consumers, as that sort of technology was thought to be pretty far off. There is no denying that it is hugely exciting and fun, and the fact that it has been given to the masses in the same year as Mr McFly himself had his first hoverboard experience is a pretty monumental event. Even if they have wheels, only sit a few inches across the ground and rarely go faster than 6mph, they have well and truly brought us into the future, and surely the developments will only continue.