It is now officially the future: Hoverboards are real. A company called Arx Pax has developed a skateboard-style device that rides on air instead of wheels, and it's raising money to "perfect" the project on Kickstarter, Phys.org reports. Arx Pax has already surpassed its $250,000 goal. How it works: Four engines on the board create a magnetic field which "literally pushes against itself," the company says on Kickstarter. That pushes the board upward. Says co-inventor Greg Henderson of his Hendo Hoverboard: "The wheel may finally have some competition."
Pretty cool, but it's not quite a Marty McFly experience yet, Engadget notes: It only gets about an inch off the ground, and it only works over certain types of metal, including copper and aluminum. It's also very loud, according to the Verge (via Gizmodo). Still, it can hold a 300-pound person, Arx Pax says, though the New York Times adds that the board itself weighs 100 pounds. The paper notes that the Hendo Hoverboard "is basically a publicity stunt." What Henderson is really interested in is the broader application of the technology; a building using it, for instance, might be able to "ride out an earthquake," he says. Meanwhile, for those without hoverboards, there's always the cardboard bike. (Read more hoverboard stories.)