Ever since we realized that we were in the future of Back to the Future II, 2015 has been the year of the hoverboard. The problem is that all we are seeing is just prototypes and other non-levitating contraptions that aren't true hoverboards. Some of them have wheels as well as combustible batteries. It's very clear that we want what Marty McFly had: a hoverboard that is easy to use and manufactured like an iPhone. We still aren't there yet, and the ArcaBoard by the Arca Space Corporation could be the closest thing.
Yes, there are a lot of hoverboards that don't hover, but the ArcaBoard will succeed in levitating its user/rider off of the ground. It uses 36 high-powered electric ducted fans to achieve its lift, and although it is quite bigger than your average skateboard (excluding those longboards), at least it works.
Unfortunately, it doesn't work for long. According to Mashable, "riders weighing up to 243 pounds (using enhanced thrust) get only three minutes and riders weighing up 176 pounds (using long endurance mode) get about six minutes".
No, that isn't a long time, and if you expected that this new type of technology would cost a lot, you would be right. This will cost about $19,900, and a separate charging unit for about $4,500, which charges the hoverboard in about 35 minutes. According to PC Mag, the ArcaBoard is planning to ship out mid-April.
The video below shows the hoverboard in action, and it looks like the technology was developed by hearing what someone wanted and attempting to bring it to life. It is pretty clear from the last shot in this video that the designers are not only having a lot of fun with the development of the ArcaBoard, but they enjoy the idea of bringing dreams to life.
What also isn't shown in the video is how loud this thing is. Unlike Back to the Future II, it doesn't look like this will whisper through the air if it has 36 fans underneath it. It is possible that these are quite fans, like the one in your house during summertime.
It looks like there is a little bit of a learning curve when it comes to riding this thing. The rider in the video is literally surfing the air about a foot above the ground, and that is pretty good as it can go over rocky terrain and snow. However, this technology is so young it could be a while before it gets off the ground. In fact, the video shows them practicing on the hoverboard with a cord.
In other words, maybe the ArcaBoard won't be that hoverboard that we all have wanted since 1989 (the year Back to the Future II was released), but it is a definite step in true hoverboard technology.