Urban Transport

The Hoverboard surfs the streets on a single wheel

The Hoverboard surfs the stree...
The Hoverboard has a top speed of 16 mph (26 km/h) and a range of 12 mi (19 km)
The Hoverboard has a top speed of 16 mph (26 km/h) and a range of 12 mi (19 km)
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The Hoverboard has a top speed of 16 mph (26 km/h) and a range of 12 mi (19 km)
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The Hoverboard has a top speed of 16 mph (26 km/h) and a range of 12 mi (19 km)
The Hoverboard has a 10-in wheel, with users leaning forward to accelerate and backwards to decelerate or change direction
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The Hoverboard has a 10-in wheel, with users leaning forward to accelerate and backwards to decelerate or change direction
The Hoverboard features LED lighting and speakers to play music through
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The Hoverboard features LED lighting and speakers to play music through

We may still be waiting for the first true hoverboards, but one firm says its single-wheeler feels so like hovering that it's actually called the Hoverboard. The board is mounted atop a 10-in wheel, with users leaning forward to accelerate and backwards to decelerate or change direction.

The Hoverboard is, of course, very similar to last year's One Wheel and that's not something that has escaped the attention of its manufacturer. In a direct comparison with the One Wheel, Hoverboard Technologies claims its single-wheeled electric skateboard is faster, offers a longer rage and is quicker to charge. It's also reported to use sonar technology to stay stable and has API connectivity.

The 25 lb (11 kg) Hoverboard is powered by a 5,000 W motor, which is part of the drive-unit at the center of the wheel. This delivers a top speed limited to 16 mph (26 km/h) and a range of 12 miles (19 km). The board charges at a rate of 1.5 minutes per mile. The sonar detection informs the board's self-balancing system to keep the board parallel with the ground, while regenerative braking is employed to recover energy and charge the board when going down hills or decelerating.

The board also has LED lighting, and built-in speakers for playing music while you ride. These features are said to use up to 10 percent and negligible amounts of power respectively. An LCD screen on the board displays information for the rider.

The Hoverboard has a 10-in wheel, with users leaning forward to accelerate and backwards to decelerate or change direction
The Hoverboard has a 10-in wheel, with users leaning forward to accelerate and backwards to decelerate or change direction

In addition to all the technology that's packed into the Hoverboard itself, there's also an accompanying mobile app for Android and iOS. The app running on a Bluetooth connected smart device allows users to activate and lock their one-wheeler, check its charge level and battery health and set speed limits. It's also possible to customize the lighting, play and customize audio and view ride data, such as maximum speed, average speed and distance traveled.

Hoverboard Technologies says it has designed the Hoverboard to be open and serviceable by owners, with a view to ensuring that the lifespan of the boards is maximized. The components used can be swapped out and improved modules can be purchased so that users can carry out their own upgrades.

The board also "checks-in" to Hoverboard Technologies periodically when connected to Wi-Fi. This is so that usage reports can be sent to inform future updates and also for board security. The board will stop working after a few days without checking in via the user's parameters, meaning the board won't work for thieves and to discourage theft in the first place.

The Hoverboard features LED lighting and speakers to play music through
The Hoverboard features LED lighting and speakers to play music through

A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the Hoverboard is underway. At the time of writing, limited first batch Hoverboards are shown as available at a pledge level of US$3,775. By design, the Kickstarter campaign actually closes on Oct. 21, 2015, which is the day Marty McFly traveled into the future to discover the hoverboard in Back to the Future II. Assuming all goes to plan with the campaign and roll-out, shipping is expected to begin in July 2016.

The video below is the Kickstarter pitch for the Hoverboard.

Sources: Hoverboard Technologies, Kickstarter

Hoverboard: The Next Evolution in Personal Electric Mobility

24 comments
DLK811
They're a little late to the scene. http://rideonewheel.com/
Buellrider
According to the Kickstarter site for this product they want a pledge of $3775 which entitles the pledge to one of the 1st 100 hover boards. How many folks are going to plunk down that much for a glorified skateboard no matter how neat the thing looks or is for that matter. When the battery runs out you'll be carrying a 25 lb device and all of a sudden it is going to dawn on you that you've been had because 25 lbs gets awful heavy real quick. Something like this should not be even 300 bucks and should weigh no more than 5 lbs and even 5 gets heavy if you need to carry it very far. If these things actually make it to our sidewalks for that price you can bet that criminals will hi-jack them from the owner.
mhpr262
The electric unicycles, where you stand facing forward with each foot on one side of the wheel, seem to be a more practical approach to me. Much more compact and comfortable. Who would want to spend his whole ride looking 90° sideways?
LordVaderXIII
hover verb remain in one place in the air. In the air this thing is not a hoverboard its a one wheel board!
Daishi
It looks cool but it's definitely not cheap. For people that don't have the expense of owning cars I suppose some of these expensive e-bikes, electric skateboards, and hoverboards are more affordable. I guess it depends if you see it as a cheap method of powered transportation or a really expensive toy.
liui
So the Onewheel has a 500W motor while the Hoverboard will have a 5,000W motor, and yet it will still only top out at 16MPH? Interesting!
Milton
This thing is so bad-ass. I question whether or not there is a market for such a high-end device, but we shall see.
Vince Pack
Why are people calling these wheeled contraptions "hoverboards"? My bike is now a human powered hoverboard. My car? It's an enclosed hoverboard. My boat is an aquatic hoverboard. My house? Yeah, it's a stationary hoverboard with rooms.
Derek Howe
This thing look awesome, the range is surprising good, and 20mph isn't to shabby (plus, I don't think anyone would feel comfortable on it going any faster). But big downside is the price. Cool things aren't cheap, maybe in 3-5 years they will have their second gen version for 500 bucks or so, then I might pick one up to play around with.
Anne Ominous
The numbers do not add up. Not too many 5,000W motors will travel 10 miles or more without an onboard battery that is far larger than this thing could fit in its bulk. For that matter, batteries aside, I haven't seen a 5,000 watt hub motor that would fit in that wheel. I think somebody goofed, and that the actual W is 500. That might still be pretty impressive for its size, but it isn't adequate to get me around these local hills. Further yet, the price is not adequate to get it into my home.