Billion-dollar film franchise inspired Lexus’ hoverboard and many other cool inventions
The Back to the Future film franchise, which has grossed nearly a billion dollars in box office receipts worldwide, kicked off with its first film in 1985. The sequel, Back to the Future: Part II, was released in 1989 and featured Oct. 21, 2015 as the date when the film’s lead character, Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, blasted off into a high-tech future via his flying, time–traveling DeLorean.
However, the film’s impact on pop culture has been far more reaching than any dollar amount. In addition to inspiring the world to officially recognize Oct. 21, 2015 as “Back to the Future Day,” BTTF has inspired many of the coolest products, from sneakers to automobiles, to hit the market.
One of the products that has kept the Internet buzzing is a hoverboard creation powered by engineers at Lexus. The hoverboard uses liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and magnets to hover. And yes, it actually works.
[Click here to check out a Fox News video that explains science behind the Lexus hoverboard.]
"At Lexus, we constantly challenge ourselves and our partners to push the boundaries of what is possible,” said Mark Templin, executive vice president, Lexus International. “That determination, combined with our passion and expertise for design and innovation, is what led us to take on the hoverboard project. It’s the perfect example of the amazing things that can be achieved when you combine technology, design and imagination.”
Unfortunately for early adopters, Lexus has no current plans to sell the boards. The Toyota-made board was created strictly for the brand’s Amazing in Motion Campaign.
In addition to Lexus’ model, the Hendo and Omni are touted as promising hoverboards that actually work.
The Lexus not-for-sale invention made us think of a few other gadgets that don’t fully exist, but would be super cool if they were available.
Self-driving cars: Audi, BMW, Google, Mercedes and Tesla have released, or are planning to release, autonomous vehicles or self-driving features. The hard part isn’t creating a car that can drive sans human interaction. Current safety technology has proven that automobiles can park, stop and keep pace with traffic without the driver. The difficult part of the deal is cities creating highways that are advanced enough for the autonomous cars to drive on. According to a Business Insider report, an estimated 10 million self-driving cars will be on the road by 2020.
Futuristic fuel: Inspired by Back to the Future, Toyota has plans to turn trash, a significant source of biogas, into fuel. [Check out the video describing the science behind Toyota’s “Fueled by the Future” initiative].
The rolling bench: A little under a decade ago, Sungwoo Park unveiled one of the biggest no-brainer products in years. The rolling bench features a handle on the side that allows users to rotate the seat to expose the dry/clean side of a bench. This design should be in every park in the world.
GPS shoes: Most people have access to GPS, whether it’s in their cars, phones or even watches. Why not cut out the middleman and put them in your shoes? Dominic Wilcox did exactly that with his 2012 invention. The GPS shoes look normal at first glance, but the LED lights under the dots in the toe box of each shoe are functional in that one points in the right direction while the other gauges progress. When wearing these, the trick would be not looking down at your feet while walking. Accidents happen that way.
Self-lacing shoes: On October 21, 2015, Nike announced that it is going to begin producing self-lacing shoes, like those featured in Back to the Future: Part II, and plans to send Michael J. Fox its first pair.
The neuralizer: Since we’re wishing gadgets from films were real, wouldn’t it be cool if the neuralizer from the Men in Black franchise actually existed? There are a plethora of everyday situations that this thing would come in handy for: speeding tickets, coming home way too late, saying the wrong thing to your spouse, etc. One flick of a button, and all is forgotten.