Really - how long must we continue to wait for hoverboards?
Watching those far-away-in-the-future Eurosaver ads from our friends at McDonald's, we started wondering about other technological breakthroughs that might lie ahead of us. And there's no better place to start than with that firm favourite of every 80s child: the hoverboard.
We've been patient for far too long but the time has come to say enough is enough - why has no one invented hoverboards yet?
It is 2012 and according to the Mayans and one incredibly bad Hollywood movie, the world will end this year.
It won’t, of course, but if it did and we as a planet had still not invented hoverboards, wouldn’t you feel a little short-changed?
After all, we live in a world in which you can pay over €500+ to ‘flick’ through the pages of a book on your swanky tablet device, where social networking connects millions upon millions of procrastinators and where the most irritating aspect of mobile phones are that they sometimes receive calls while you’re playing with them.
We have achieved all this as a people while keenly aware that we are falling well short of the 2015 future envisioned by late 1980s time travel classic Back To The Future II.
Tell director Robert Zemeckis that he can keep his Jaws 19 film ‘directed by Max Spielberg’ and stuff his self-drying footwear – we want hoverboards.
Unfortunately, hoverboards are currently a fictional personal transportation device, despite subsequent appearances in everything from Spider-Man 3 to even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - those Neutrinos characters had them, in case you were wondering. (You weren’t, were you?)
Right now the closest thing you can get to hoverboards are to remove the wheels from a skateboard and paint the board with a metallic colour, later explaining to friends that you’re simply “too tired” to demonstrate your futuristic device, while assuring them it absolutely works. That excuse may work for a few hours, but you’ll eventually get caught out.
While we wait for Apple to create an iBoard and scoop up all the available money in the world, we’re left to ponder what will be the first breakthrough in hoverboard technology. Believe it or not, it actually already occurred last year.
The above clip is a demonstration of a hoverboard in the prototype stage for a bunch of students at the University of Paris. The hoverboard itself can be seen levitating a few inches of the ground along magnetic rails, while the students say that the board can carry people over 100 kg.
The entire project was part of a 'Festival of Science' at the university and works by using a superconductor to expel magnetic fields. Surely it wouldn't cost much to replace all Irish footpaths and roads with magnets?
Granted, it will probably take longer than our 2015 deadline to figure out how to levitate hoverboard users several feet off the ground but at last it does appear as though we're making some form of progress. That sounds good enough for us.