Gadgets

Someone has finally created a genuine hoverboard that works anywhere

The 'Year of Back to the Future' (2015 in common parlance) made us distrust the much-hyped hoverboard.

There was a Kickstarter project that promised real levitation - but only on magnetic surfaces. Lexus would have us all believe they'd achieved the impossible, only to again admit that their board needed a magnetic surface to function. Tony Hawk even got in on the act, suggesting he'd help Hendo create the best model yet. Then there were all those miniature Segways that had a nasty habit of setting houses on fire that the internet insisted on calling 'hover' boards.

You'll understand our scepticism then, when ArcaBoard announces they've got a 'real' hoverboard you'll be able to buy this year.

The US-made board doesn't cheat with magnets or special tracks (it even claims to work on water), but will hover anywhere thanks to 36 fans. If a mattress and Dyson spent an ill-advised night together, this would be the outcome. 

The fans of ArcaBoard's magic carpet spin at 45,000rpm, generating 272 horsepower, propelling the rider at speeds of up to 12mph at a height of 30cm. An Enhanced Thrust version will carry a load of up to 110kg for (here comes the wave of disappointment) three minutes, while the Long Endurance version can lift 80kg for six minutes - both woefully short ride times.

And that's only the beginning of the let downs: a full charge takes around six hours, but this can be reduced to 35 minutes if you splash out on the £3,000 docking station. Given that the boards cost £13,500 ($19,900), that's a sizeable investment for short-lived thrills.

Available for order now for an April delivery, you can see the Arcaboard in (alarmingly unsteady) action below. Here's hoping the Mark II lifts our hopes with more conviction.