By Hailie Avila, Tessa Waterman and Christina Nelson
FEB 26, 2016
The hoverboard has just become one of the most popular gadgets of this generation. According to CNN.com reporter Sarah Mitroff, hoverboards were the most purchased tech toy in 2015, particularly with celebrities. The hoverboard was inspired by the 1989 movie Back to the Future Part II, although this commercial version uses pressure sensitive foot pads and wheels to propel the rider forward and backward.
While hoverboards may be very cool to own and a lot of fun, riders also need to consider some safety hazards. There have been multiple reports that hoverboards burst into flames and exploded due to defective batteries. Media reports indicated that some of the cheaper models (priced under $300) were susceptible to this problem; however, the investigation is ongoing.
There is a proper way to mount and dismount the hoverboard in order to avoid injury. Richard W. Bulliet of CNN.com reported that hoverboards are banned on most college campuses, due to the safety concerns. They are also banned in New York and the United Kingdom. Because of the popularity, the hoverboard companies are diligently working to resolve the design bugs.
With significant practice, hoverboards are fairly easy to control and maneuver. They are very popular among children and teens because of the novelty of being able to ride such a unique device. Most hoverboards can reach or exceed a speed of 10 miles-per-hour and travel between 10-15 miles on a single charge. Consumers can now chose between the classic skateboard and the trendy hoverboard.
Lexus is developing the Slide, a wheel-less hoverboard that is powered by liquid nitrogen. Lexus’ latest innovation more closely resembles the “Back to the Future II” vehicle. The hoverboard designs continue to evolve and safety has become a priority for the manufacturers.