Real hoverboards still aren’t readily available to the public, despite everything Back to the Future Part II promised us. Instead a class of so-called “hoverboards” have emerged this year to fill the void. They may not actually hover, but these hands-free Segway-style devices are actually pretty cool.
There are already a few different “hoverboard” options to choose from, but a new model on Kickstarter may be the best so far. As an added bonus, the inventor kind of looks like Doc Brown.
The Hoverboard features a pretty straightforward design. It’s basically a skateboard with a single motorized wheel right in the middle of the board. You tilt forward to accelerate, tilt back to brake and reverse, and lean to turn left and right. It uses a combination of gyro-stabilization and sonar to stay up.
However, the company’s included some pretty cool extra features to set this model apart. For one, there’s a built-in Bluetooth speaker so you can listen to music while you ride. The Hoverboard also features customizable LED lights and a built-in display on either end for checking on battery life with a quick glance.
The entire experience is controlled with an app for Android or iOS. That includes the option to customize the lights and check on the battery. There’s also some anti-theft features built-in, and the option to lock your Hoverboard from your phone.
The design looks pretty sleek. It weighs in at 25 pounds and features a magnesium frame along with LED lights around the edges. The wheel also doubles as a handle so you can carry it around easily when you’re not riding. The battery should get you as far as 12 miles at up to 16 miles per hour, and chargers up again in just 16 minutes.
That all adds up to a pretty sweet package, but buying the Hoverboard is just the first step. The entire design is modular and upgradable, so you can order new pieces and install them yourself with a screwdriver if you want. The company’s also including an open API so developers can improve on the software, though certain safety features will be locked down.
Unfortunately, this “hoverboard” doesn’t come cheap. Your best bet is to order one of the first 100 units, which cost $3,775 each and ship in July 2016. If money’s no issue and you want your Hoverboard sooner there’s a limited edition $10,000 model set to launch in May 2016. If you’re looking to spend way less you can always pledge $175 for a test drive in January instead.
We’re a little worried that the Hoverboard could be delayed beyond its promised release date. The company says it’s still finalizing the design, which means it could run into unexpected issues before production even starts. Still, if you have the money to spare and don’t mind waiting this seems like a pretty sweet way to burn some cash.