Next October Marty McFly officially comes to the future.
With the 30th anniversary of the Back to the Future movie franchise approaching next year, fans and engineers continue to dream about the gadgets that exist in the world Marty lands in on October 21, 2015. With flying cars, self-lacing sneakers and clothes that dry automatically, these inventions were hard to imagine back then. They still are now — but not for a lack of trying.
The hoverboard — Marty’s floating skateboard in Back to the Future Part II — is a 25-year work in progress. In the movie, the hoverboard helps him escape villain Biff’s grandson and his crew in the town square. In real life, inventors of all kinds continue to try turning fantasy into reality.
An article in today’s New York Times profiles those who have dedicated themselves to the cause. Using everything from magnets and leaf blowers to plywood and duct tape, the group includes physics professors, technicians and top engineers at Google, as well as fans of the movie.
A Northern California couple has dedicated their life savings to developing “hover technology” with dreams of creating new industries based on it:
Inside a drab office park here in Northern California, Greg and Jill Henderson are working on the latest effort. On a recent visit the couple allowed a reporter to stand atop a noisy magnetic skateboard that can float above a copper surface. It hovers about an inch above the ground. But when the 190-pound visitor stood atop the 100-pound board, one gentle push was enough to send him spinning across the room over a cushion of air.
While attempts to create a true hoverboard have hit roadblocks, you can be certain that these dedicated folks won’t stop until they cross the finish line. Until that day comes, we always have Back to the Future.