You've seen the headlines: "This is the world's first real-life hoveboard".
Yeah, sure. There have been many hoverboard products teased in recent years, but most of them didn't live up to the hype. Lexus made a hoverboard, for instance, and it ended up being a public relations stunt that only worked on a special surface. US-based Arca Space Corporation, however, swears it has developed an actual hoverboard in 2015.
And you can place a pre-order for the hoverboard right now, with shipping slated to begin in April. It's called ArcaBoard, and it basically looks like a flat version of the game Whack-a-Mole - only it's a mattress-like vehicle equipped with 36 ducted fans spinning at 45,000rpm. It has 272 horsepower and can hover 30cm (1ft) off the ground.
Although you can expect to travel 12 miles per hour on this unsightly box, you won't be able to hover around all day. ArcaBoard, which features pricey Li-Po batteries, comes in two versions: one for a rider up to 80kg (176lbs), and one for a rider up to 110kg (242lbs). The former can hover for about 6 minutes, while the latter only goes for 3 minutes.
That means the smaller rider could probably manage to travel 1.2 miles on a single charge, and then he or she would have to take six hours to recharge the ArcaBoard's batteries using the included charger. If you buy a special dock station for a mere £3,000 ($4,500) however, you can turbo-charge those batteries in under 35 minutes. Yep.
This thing isn't cheap. The ArcaBoard itself costs £13,500 ($19,900), and buying a new Li-Po battery pack after the 1-year warranty will set you back around £4,600 ($6,840). But you can replace any part of the ArcaBoard yourself without losing the warranty, according to Arca's FAQ page. Now, let's talk about that promo video for a minute.
The first half pretty much spotlights Dumitru Popescu, the founder of Arca Space Corporation, and his wild imagination. He initially founded his company as a non-governmental organisation in Romania about 17 years ago and has contracts with the Romanian government and the European Space Agency for stratospheric rockets and balloons, etc.
The second-half finally shows the ArcaBoard and indicates it'll hover over any terrain. There's a lot of powerful music in the video, so you don't get a good sense of how those 36 ducted fans sound. We're assuming they're very loud.
Guess we'll know more come April.