When Sci-fi leads to awful creation

I love sci-fi movies. One thing that caught me during Olivier Wathelet’s lecture is that sci-fi can lead to great innovation. It can give ideas to engineers so they can replicate or do a better job than what we saw in those old movies. However, I sometime wonder if it really is a good idea. We can see many attempt that just look ridiculous on the worldwide web and I am going to pick one that really is not working for me.


The Back to the Future franchise. Either you are old or young, you know that movie. Everybody dreamed of having a hoverboard. It’s super cool and it flies over water. So when I saw this viral video, I thought: Oh My, it’s happening! I need one! I need to start learning skating. The video was awesome, looking like a proper teasing short film for a new revolutionary product. They even had Christopher Lloyd and Tony Hawk in it!


It didn’t last long, two weeks later, the excitation ended. As it happens, it was a hoax. It totally ruined my day. It could have been way cooler than those crazy 3500$ Nike Air Mag that went on sale in 2011.



Yes, 3500$ for some shoes that light up like what kids currently have before it catches fire. Moreover, you have to plug it to the wall like a phone to charge its battery. As if I didn’t have enough stuff plugged into my wall. And I’m not lazy enough to not do my own laces.


Back to the hoverboard, there is now a company who is making one. It’s a bit on the bling side but it’s relatively cheap, it’s electric so it’s eco-friendly and it’s easy to maneuver. But then comes the look.



How can you possibly call it a hoverboard! It’s a vision of horror. Not only for you but also for the people around you who have to see it because you are like gliding over the street, standing on a plastic board. Unless you are blind then you are fine. With whatever shoes you are wearing, there is no way it can work. I am sure even Kanye West or Bradley Cooper wouldn’t look cool on it. It’s so embarrassing. You can be sure, the one who buys it has no interest in self-esteem nor dignity.


How can you call it hoverboard anyway. That must be illegal. And those wheels… First of, how can there be any wheels! You are supposed to float in the air! It must have some futuristic feel! If putting LEDs was their interpretation of future, well, they failed. It doesn’t work at all. Those LEDs have no other functionality than to tell others: “Lookout! Weirdo incoming!”. Then comes the look of those wheels, where the hell did they find such ugly rims? Even wheelchairs are better looking.

hoverboard-fireOh and that position. You are supposed to skate side way but not here. You just face the road so no cool tricks in the air. It’s not even fast with a top speed of 12 km/h!

It might be eco-friendly but what’s the point? It’s not like you are going to ride it for like an hour do you? It only have 1 hour of battery life anyway. So you then have to carry it which is annoying. You are better off with a metro pass.

At least, you won’t get cold as it can catch fire :


Get a solowheel instead.

It does look a bit awkward but it’s way faster with a top speed of 22km/h and has better range. But most importantly, it’s not called a hoverboard!


That was my rant on the hoverboard. It sure is a ridiculous gadget, it is imo a good example on how engineer get sci-fi on the wrong way. You must be mentally sick to get one. Oh and you can’t take it into the plane because it’s now listed as a dangerous item so it’s banned!

There are many other attempt on recreating sci-fi gadget in real life that failed in the past. For instance, to mimic that interface you see in Minority Report, Google created Google Glass that just look ridiculous and not that useful. Microsoft took advantage of it and made their own version of it called Hololens. It’s not perfect but it is way cooler than what Google was giving us. Those fancy application are far more impressive than Google’s one.

Of course, we saw on many occasions, products inspired by sci-fi that work well in real life. I just wanted to point out a case where it went badly wrong.


I guess my only option to get close to the film, is to get a DMC12 DeLorean when money allows as it is getting back into production in 2017!


By Christopher Trang@yTsoKay – Etudiant en Mastère 2 Web Design.