The whole Internet is freaking out right now about Lexus' famous hoverboard project, which the company wants you to know totally works and is the coolest thing since Marty McFly rode one. Jalopnik managed to take a spin on the Lexus board in Barcelona, and it certainly looks amazing.
But there's one enormous, gigantic catch that gets completely buried in all the hype: You can't actually ride it everywhere. Not unless you want to spend years digging up the world's streets and sidewalks installing the equipment it has to run on.
That's because the Lexus board relies on a magnetic rail buried underground to do the levitation. Start watching at 1 minute in:
While it's obviously awesome that Lexus has made a working prototype, this technology has actually been around for years. It's what powers maglev trains. Lexus just shrunk it down to the size of a skateboard and buried the rail.
To mix cultural metaphors, this is like pulling back the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. It's a little disappointing given all the gee-whiz claims about hovering.
Let's hope some other genius floats a better idea.