Life Tech The hoverboard is here! Or is that hoaxerboard?

The hoverboard is here! Or is that hoaxerboard?

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When we think about the future, many of us envision jetpacks, holidays in space and clothes made from silver foil. We also recall the great Back To The Future movies and ask, where’s my hoverboard?

Well, a project which allegedly began in the MIT Physics department has developed the HUVr, a skateboard-like device which defies the law of gravity. Yep. No small achievement. And its first use was in a skateboard.

But looking at the not-entirely convincing website, and even the product itself, it’s clear that this is either a well-made hoax or a clever marketing ploy for an as-yet undisclosed product. Back to the Future IV?

The website tells us “the future has arrived” and serves up a series of videos with famous people like Moby being amazed by the device. In one video, Christopher Lloyd, who played Emmett ‘Doc’ Brown in the Back To The Future movies, appears in a parking lot carrying one of the devices. He then hands it over to skateboard legend Tony Hawk.

On the website, there is no explanation of how the product works, and for a device which denies the laws of nature, the designs are surprisingly bad. But perhaps the biggest clue that this is a high-quality hoax comes in this ridiculous phrase:

Our team consists of materials science, electricity & magnetism experts who’ve solved an important part of one of science’s mysteries: the key to antigravity.

There are a few theories floating around about what might be going on here. Pop culture website HitFix suggests that it’s an ad campaign for a new pair of Nike sneakers, while another theory holds that it’s an attempt to get some attention for an announcement that Back To The Future IV is coming. offers this analysis:

Another theory is that there’s another video game appearing soon. We’re of the opinion that the most likely scenario is another Late Night prank – we’ll see soon enough. Meanwhile we’ll be grumbling about the fact that there isn’t actually a real Hoverboard to speak of.

And CNET adds:

There’s a good number of tip-offs throughout the video that we’re being hoodwinked, namely that ensemble cast of awestruck celebrities that also includes Los Angeles rapper Schoolboy Q, Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino, and Back to the Future’s very own Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd). In fact, it’s likely that a good number of celebrities were roped into the stunt both because it’s hilarious and also because it acts as a solid point of distraction from the fact that no actual members of the supposedly real MIT-spawned company are identified.

Anyway, we shouldn’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.