Surely every loyal Back to the Future fan holds on to a sincere hope that one day the famed “hoverboard” will be a reality. However, that day is not today. On the other hand, on this day, thousands (if not more) of fans were fed a nugget of excitement through a very realistic new product video for a hovering skateboard known as the HUVr, endorsed by Back to the Future star Christopher Lloyd. A video showing several supposed “scientists” and clients debuting the HUVr is currently going viral as people all over the world cling to the hope that this product is real. Unfortunately, it definitely is not real. On the bright side, as far as hoaxes go, this one has a lot of heart, and a devoted following.
The creators of HUVr have gone to great lengths to make this hoax believable. The website for invention company “HUVr Tech” is impressive and detailed. It outlines legal terms, disclaims against possible injury, and lists safety precautions. Then there are the scientists. Now obviously if someone says they are a scientist, they are, except sometimes that is not the case when the source is Youtube. Certainly when an actor makes a statement, their endorsement has nothing to do with the fact that they are being compensated. But to give credit where credit is due, the creative team behind HUVr should be commended for producing a myriad of reactions, and maybe even convincing a great deal of people, if only for a little while. Though perhaps they were just being ironic, some popular sites published articles on the HUVr “hoverboard” with the suggestion that the product might be real. If the people behind HUVr had gotten Marty McFly himself, it would have been even more convincing, but Michael J. Fox has yet to publicly comment on the prospective futuristic skateboard.
Meanwhile, Facebook and Twitter feeds will undoubtedly be flooded for days with gullible Back to the Future fans who have suspended their disbelief long enough to believe that what happens in the movies is possible. While some movie realities may eventually occur in real life, the hoverboard hoax is proof that 2014 might not be “the future” after all. In this present moment, however, if the intent of HUVr Tech is to fool the public, mission accomplished. But maybe they are just optimistically preparing for a time when they can defy gravity with a real floating skateboard? No, probably not, but one can dream.
Luckily for those who might be committed to bringing a real hoverboard to life, there is still about a year and a half left until the date the hoverboard was revealed in Back to the Future 2. If anyone looks out the window on October 21, 2015, and sees a skateboard zooming down the street with air under it (instead of wheels), then those who were fooled today by the hoax might just be vindicated after all. Meanwhile, many Back to the Future fans everywhere continue to mourn the failure of “the future” to deliver on what might be the best mode of transportation to ever be invented. Or, more accurately, to not be invented.
Opinion by Bonnie Sludikoff