If Back to the Future II is to prove to have been a reliable predictor of future technologies, toymaker Mattel has until October 21 to reveal its hotly anticipated 'hoverboard'.
It could be beaten to the punch, however, with Toyota's luxury arm Lexus revealing its own prototype hoverboard this week.
Now, while "everyone knows hoverboards don't work on water", Lexus reckons it's got at least one arena sorted: skate parks. Well, those with a special metal layer embedded below the surface.
How does it work? Lexus says its hoverboard "uses magnetic levitation to achieve frictionless movement, incorporating a highly advanced design that features liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and permanent magnets."
So, yes, this is yet another experimental hoverboard (see an earlier concept below) that won't work in the street out front of your house.
But, after 18 months of work, Lexus has developed a skateboard that legitimately floats, and that's not a bad start.
Can it be ridden? A teaser video from Lexus (top of page) is cut frustratingly short, just as a would-be test pilot steps onto the deck.
Instead, the carmaker wants us to follow the progress of the hoverboard over the coming weeks, with ‘testing’ set to commence in Spain shortly.
"At Lexus we constantly challenge ourselves and our partners to push the boundaries of what is possible,” Lexus’ Mark Templin said.
“That determination, combined with our passion and expertise for design and innovation, is what led us to taking on the hoverboard project. It's the perfect example of the amazing things that can be achieved when you combine technology, design and imagination."
So you don’t forget it came from Lexus, the hoverboard incorporates a faint ‘spindle’ grille design, as seen on the brand's current range of vehicles, along with the familiar 'L' badge on the deck.
But before you rush down to ‘Hoverboards R Us’ or your local Lexus dealer to put down a deposit, Lexus stresses that the project is only a prototype and will not be offered for sale.
In the meantime, keep an eye out for The Hoverboard Report.
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