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Science & Technology

Where are the flying cars and hoverboards ?

By T.K. Randall
January 1, 2015 · Comment icon 14 comments

The real-life version of Marty McFly's hoverboard. Image Credit: YouTube / Hendo Hover
As 2015 begins we take a look at the technologies that may become a reality within the next 12 months.
In the movie Back to the Future II when Marty McFly steps out of the Delorean in the year 2015 he encounters fusion powered flying cars, shoes that lace up by themselves and even skateboards that can float along effortlessly above the ground.

Now that the year 2015 is actually here however, are we anywhere close to achieving these things within the next twelve months or will most of them remain firmly rooted in the realms of science fiction ?

Flying cars
While there have been a few attempts to produce a vehicle that can be called a 'flying car', it is unlikely that such a thing will either be affordable or even available to consumers for several years. That's not to say that there aren't flying cars in the works however - the Moller Skycar M400, the Terrafugia TF-X and the AeroMobil 3.0 are all real-life flying cars currently in development.
Self-lacing shoes
This one has actually already been done, albeit as a gimmick rather than as a mainstream product. In 2011 Nike released their Nike Air Mag self-lacing shoes as a nod to the movie and even donated the proceeds to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's disease research.

Fusion power
Powering your car or home using a portable nuclear fusion generator may not happen this year but it may be happening soon. Inventor Andrea Rossi's 'E-Cat' cold fusion energy catalyzer has stayed somewhat under the mainstream radar but appears to be the real deal with several big companies showing an interest in adopting the technology. This is definitely one to watch.

Californian architect Greg Henderson is behind the Hendo Hoverboard - a real-life version of Marty McFly's iconic skateboard that seems to actually work and should be available to buy this year.

Comments (14)

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Comment icon #5 Posted by gailforce 9 years ago
oh bull i can make a self sufficient power reactor in under a week if i have all the needed components for my design the only reason why they are not sold in stores is because they are bad for business as soon as i finish school ill take oat a businesses loan and start manufacturing them among other thing but that's 3 to 4 years from now
Comment icon #6 Posted by Hugh 9 years ago
"Where are the flying cars and hoverboards?" When you think about it, they would be extremely dangerous, not only for the people using them, but everyone around them, unless very stringent controls were in place.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Ashyne 9 years ago
There will not be legal use of flying cars until barriers are put up on designated sky roads to prevent the cars from crashing into buildings.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Mr Supertypo 9 years ago
Frankly...I dont see flying cars ever to be a big hit. I mean what are you going to do with a flying car? in a mad max world, maybe it may be useful, but in this one? No.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Red Moon 9 years ago
These ideas come from the 80's when people were already obsessed with Pac Man and VHS.
Comment icon #10 Posted by third_eye 9 years ago
I've got one of those in the closet somewhere ... I don't have a license for those cars though ... I'm willing to sell if someone wants to buy 'em ?
Comment icon #11 Posted by highdesert50 9 years ago
Flying cars ... well, ground effect vehicles have been around since the 1930s but really "took off" with Alexeyev's designs for the Ekranoplan in the 1960s. The largest was a 500 ton prototype capable of 300 knots.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Shayde 9 years ago
I'm still waiting for those snazzy silver foil jumpsuits we were meant to be wearing back in the 80's.... Besides, it's probably a good thing we've yet to get flying skateboards. Giving the amount of folk who can barely walk down the street while operating their bloody smartphones (the phone being the only smart element in this senario) can you imagine how many morons would be causing no end of chaos if they actually had possession of a hoverboard?!!!
Comment icon #13 Posted by Taun 9 years ago
I use to think that I would like to see flying cars being common... but after working with Air Traffic control systems... NO WAY!... It takes a large, well trained and vigilant staff to control the relatively light air traffic we have today (relative to the number of automobiles anyway)... Could you imagine the denisity of flying car traffic?... Plus all the "yahoo's" that would suddenly decide to just take off any which direction, no matter what ATC said...
Comment icon #14 Posted by Nzo 9 years ago
Television and Movies are extremely powerful mediums. When used correctly they instruct us how to live happy lives. When used incorrectly they instruct us how to destroy our lives.

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