Over-the-air updates take the Fliteboard eFoil to new heights
The arrival of electric-powered hydrofoil boards such as the Waydoo and Lift have come to offer adrenaline junkies an exciting new way to cut across the water. Fliteboard has very much been a part of this mix since launching a couple of years ago, and now hopes to elevate the experience for users even further with an app that offers detailed ride-tracking and over-the-air updates to improve the performance of the board.
Fliteboard launched its first board in 2018 and has since sold more than 1,000 units to customers around the world. The board is powered by a brushless electric motor that sends riders across the water at up to 28 mph (45 km/h), with the throttle controlled via a Bluetooth-connected handheld remote. The onboard battery, meanwhile, provides 90 minutes of use per charge.
While this already sounds like a recipe for a good time on the water, the company has been hard at work developing software to make the experience even better. The newly launched smartphone app not only offers Strava-like metrics on rides logged on the Fliteboard, but facilitates over-the-air updates designed to improve the board’s performance over time, much like a Tesla.
“By allowing users to easily update their software, the app provides new features and performance improvements,” Fliteboard founder, David Trewern tells New Atlas. “Fliteboarders can track their ride distances, speed, roll, pitch, power and battery stats as well as visualize, replay and share their rides using Flitetrack. The app functions as a virtual log-book and allows users to easily share diagnostic information with our Fliteboard service centers around the world.”
The Flite app works by integrating with the software of the board and hand controller to track more than 35 technical parameters. This means it can offer feedback on fine details like how hard riders are leaning into turns and how different board configurations can impact their ride.
“For example, we have multiple wing combinations that riders can use, as well as five different shim settings,” says Trewern. “By making adjustments to these features, riders will not only feel how different their ride can be but also see and record this information using the app.”
Interestingly, Trewern tells us this kind of future-proofing was always part of the plan for Fliteboard. The boards were originally designed to pack the hardware to offer these insights, with the company hoping to continue to leverage these through further over-the-air updates that improve its performance further.
“We had the foresight to build the necessary hardware into the Fliteboard in advance, so when we brought out the app Fliteboard owners could then unlock the potential already built into their boards without having to retrofit any of the advanced hardware technology,” says Trewern. “We have a number of sensors in the board and Flite Controller. Just like a Tesla or iPhone, we can now use software updates to further exploit our hardware and sensors to provide a more engaging ride and ownership experience into the future.
Pricing for the Fliteboard starts at US$12,935, while the new app is free. The video below offers a look at the eFoil in action.