No gimmicks, no tricks - Tony "The Only Skateboarder You Can Name" Hawk is helping a Arx Pax build a genuine hovering skateboard.
The Californian-based tech company is responsible for one of the world's first 'working' hoverboards: they successfully Kickstarted the Hendo at the close of 2014, a vast chunk of a board that used magnets to levitate over metallic surfaces. It was ungraceful, huge and woefully slow - but it did hover. They even invited Tony Hawk to give it a try.
The Hendo 2.0 is going to improve on just about every aspect of Arx Pax's original hover design, thanks largely to the feedback they received from Tony Hawk.
"Getting Tony’s feedback made a huge difference in our design approach," said Greg Henderson, Arx Pax co-founder and CEO. "After some long discussions, we all agreed that the hoverboard should be as intuitive as possible, so we used a traditional deck as the user interface."
The new model will be slimmer, more streamlined: effectively feeling more like a real skateboard than a snowboard on an ice rink. Key improvements include:
- Skateboard-like deck for improved rider control with a familiar user interface
- Improved power system with additional charging and power management features, USB connectivity and longer battery life
- Better traction using modified skateboard-style trucks integrated with the hover engines to provide more intuitive control
- Simplified engine controls for users to easily connect and disconnect
- Wireless safety switch that allows the user to turn the hoverboard off remotely
- Stronger hover engine performance from a more efficient design
- Sleeker profile and improved balance due to advanced engine design that employs a modular MFA array for enhanced performance
Here's what it's expected to look like:
And yes, the board will only hover over a conductive metal surface. It uses "Magnetic Field Architecture" to repel itself into the air - which is cool, but not as cool as Marty McFly's iconic moment of levitation.
But if more companies and engineers come on board for the project, Arx Pax believes our dreams of riding a go-anywhere hoverboard is a case of "when", not "if".
At which point they'll promptly be banned from UK pavements, right?