Didn’t do so hot in the gift-giving department this Christmas? You may be able to make up for it by pre-ordering a vaporware hoverboard, the price tag of which alone should win you kudos. For $19,900, this purported “world’s first true hover board” could be yours. Meet the ArcaBoard, a hoverboard that actually, you know, hovers.
Unlike other devices bearing the same name, the ArcaBoard is a fan-powered transportation device that is the closest we’ve gotten to walking on water. Or at least, floating a few inches atop it. “Ride across any terrain or water with the vehicle that was virtually impossible, until today,” the ArcaBoard website boasts. “Each time you ride the ArcaBoard you will find yourself at the center of a new experience.”
Deriving its awesome power from 36 high-powered, electric-ducted fans with a maximum thrust of 200 kgf (430 lbs.), the ArcaBoard features a built-in stabilization unit, and allows you to control and navigate by way of your phone. But, the company says, “for the most intense experience you can turn off the stabilization system and steer the ArcaBoard with your body.”
The hoverboard measures 57 inches long, 30 inches wide, and 6 inches thick, weighing in at around 180 pounds. It may seem like a toy to fulfill children’s imaginations, but with its aerospace-grade material composition, this ArcaBoard is no joke.
Explaining the origins of the company idea, ARCA Space Corporation CEO Dumitru Popescu told Las Cruces Sun News, “A few months ago, me and Chris (Lang) and his kids went to the Organ Mountains to take some photos, because the weather was great — lots of clouds and the lighting was beautiful.” Lang is the company’s chief operating officer, and his young son offered the suggestion of a hoverboard as a means of travel over rocky terrain. “I said, ‘We could do that. It’s not very complicated. The technology is there, so why not?’” Popescu remembered.
“We started working right away, and we made very fast progress,” he continued. “Within two months, we tested the first ArcaBoard.” Now, just months later, Popescu and Lang have a product they’re proud of.
“It’s a huge amount of power — more than the vast majority of automobiles,” Popescu said. “For its size, the ArcaBoard is probably the most powerful personal vehicle ever created in history.” And riding it seems pretty intuitive — “To move forward, you simply have to lean forward. To slow down or back up, you can lean backward,” the CEO explained. “The same goes for moving from side to side.”
While you won’t get much airtime (three to six minutes tops), Lang is excited about the future of the hoverboard. “Our tagline is ‘Engineering the Future,’” he said. “And we really feel like this backs that up.”