Sometimes it still amazes me how much mileage they managed to get out of the Back to the Future franchise. Till this day fans (including yours truly) are still obsessing over its story points, its cool DeLorean car, and all the little futuristic (by mid-80s standards) gadgets scattered throughout the three movies. The stuff folks really seem to love, though, are introduced in the future sequences in Back to the Future II -- like the self-lacing Nike Mags (which Nike just released to auction, minus the self-lacing part), and the iconic hoverboard, which Marty McFly uses to escape danger several times throughout the final two films.
While those Nike sneakers are probably only a few more years away from becoming a reality (they should be in stores for the year 2015, which is the same year Marty and Doc travel to in the sequel), the hoverboard is a different story for obvious reasons. Though it's not difficult to make an object just barely float off the ground using superconductors, the harder part comes when you want a human to ride on said device around their neighborhood.
One day (maybe during our lifetime, maybe not) we'll see a real-life hoverboard sold in stores for kids to play with, but until then we're left to geek out over videos like this one, which show a team from a French university who used superconductors to create their own hoverboard. But were they able to get a person on top of it to ride? Watch those two videos -- plus another one that shows off superconductivity on a smaller scale up close -- below to find out ...
How long do you think it will take for hoverboards to be sold in stores?
magsurf - skate supraconducteur - hoverboard by mameasson
And here's a video that helps you get a better understanding of what can be achieved with superconductivity on a smaller scale.
[via Geekologie, Boing Boing]