Open-source hoverboard project seeks $1 million just to get started
Ever since moviegoers watched in awe as Marty McFly sped along on a hoverboard in Back To The Future Part II, many of us have dreamed of having a real-life hoverboard of our own. Sadly no such product exists, but that hasn't stopped someone from dreaming of making it happen. To do so, they're asking for US$1 million on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.
Haltek Industries believes "the world needs a Hoverboard," and that it's the company to build it. In order to do so, it needs $1 million to build a platform to catalog any advances made over the next few years, with form factors and power sources explored to find the best way forward. The ultimate aim is to launch the finished product in Q3 2015.
In other words, this is a plea for funding to the tune of $1 million to essentially just get the ball rolling on building a real-life working hoverboard. All that is being guaranteed is a website housing all of the data collected and prototypes tested, and a hoverboard controller app for mobile platforms.
People who contribute $10,000 or more will be "one of the first in the world to own a real working hoverboard" but the June 2015 delivery estimate could slip to ... well, your guess is as good as mine and, I suspect, the company's. Other perks include a miniature hoverboard for $1,000, $50 for voting rights on design choices, and $10 for access to the "development center" on the website.
Some of the technology needed to make a hoverboard become a reality does indeed exist. Two examples in particular are mentioned specifically in the proposal: Chris Malloy's prototype hoverbike, which uses omni-direction tubeaxial blowers to gain vertical lift; and IBM's lithium air batteries, which create energy from drawing in oxygen, potentially making them both light and powerful enough to provide a power source. But it's a leap of faith to cite two future projects not ready for primetime as a reason to believe in a third.
The $1 million needs to be raised by August 27 for the project to carry on. Those tempted to contribute should bear in mind the first line of the Indiegogo plea, "Probably impossible ... But certainly worth a try!" before parting with their cash.