Does Back to the Future hoverboard really exist? - video
Christopher Lloyd presents device with 'more technology than the satellites sent to space in 2010'
TWENTY-FIVE years after Marty McFly flew a hoverboard down the street in Back to the Future Part II a technology company called HUVr Tech claims to have invented the real thing.
An online advertisement featuring the device – essentially a skateboard that floats in the air – has been watched on YouTube by more than two million people in the last two days.
Christopher Lloyd, who played Dr Emmett Brown in the Back to the Future series, introduces the "real-life" hoverboard, while singer Moby and skateboarder Tony Hawk are among several celebrities to try it out.
The clip assures viewers that the "demonstrations are completely real", while a HUVr engineer explains that the board has "more technology within it than the satellites we sent to space in 2010".
However, those hoping to try out the long-awaited invention will be sorely disappointed. The clip has since been exposed as an elaborate and expensive hoax.
Geekosystem noticed a mysterious shadow in the background of one of the shots, which appears to be a crane holding people off the ground, while others spotted that the HUVr "engineer" was actually comedic actor Nelson Chang.
Scientifically-minded critics pointed out that to create the device, HUVr Tech would have "blown out of the water" the most advanced superconducting research ever carried out.
"The board not only sustains more weight than the 100kg limitation of 'Mag Surf' – a hovering technique developed in 2011 that employs a liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductor and a magnetic track – but it can also be controlled by a smartphone, lift a person off the ground, travel at high speeds, and seemingly extend a electromagnetic field to curved objects like ramps," said a dubious Nick Statt at CNet.
Not only that, but had it been genuine, there would have been questions about why such revolutionary technology had been applied not to lucrative government contracts, notes AV Club, but to "realising a movie prop so Moby could surf around a parking lot".
So who is behind the elaborate hoax? Mashable claims that the website of a Los Angeles-based costume designer holds the answer.
The most recent line of Lauren Biedenharn's online CV, which has now been taken down, says "Commercial: Back to the Future HUVR BOARDS" and her employer for the commercial: comedy video website Funny Or Die.