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Hoverboard makes debut in elaborate hoax

‘Back to the Future’ star Christopher Lloyd, iconic skateboarder Tony Hawk, Mark Cuban are among those involved in promoting fictitious HUVr Board; but why?

Are you ready for the real hoverboard? Seriously—ahem—a company called HUVr Tech has introduced a hovering, skateboard-like board, the concept of which first appeared in the movie “Back to the Future Part II” in 1989.

Well, folks, the real deal has arrived, and fittingly it was actor Christopher Lloyd, a.k.a. inventor Dr. Emmett Brown in the “Back to the Future” trilogy, who presented the hoverboard to legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk in its official debut via a YouTube video (above) entitled “Belief.”

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Fictitious hoverboard called HUVr Board is being demonstrated; photo from the HUVr Tech Facebook page.

“Finally,” Hawk says in the video as he lifts the HUVr Board above his head. After taking a spin on the hoverboard, Hawk says, “I can’t believe how well it works.”

And we can’t believe anyone would fall for the fictitious product and its pseudo company, but we certainly give kudos for the elaborate hoax.

Not only did whoever is behind the scheme enlist Lloyd and Hawk, they recruited former NFL star Terrell Owens, musician Moby, rap artist Schoolboy Q, and actress Agnes Bruckner to be a part of whatever it is they’re trying to promote.

The fake HUVr Tech also has a fake website with a variety of features—an upcoming HUVr App that is activated via Bluetooth, videos, and even a press kit (oops, you can’t download the press kit—dang).

But the website does offer an explanation of sorts. From HUVrTech.com:

“This is clearly a new frontier for science, and we’re excited and honored to share this first chapter with the world.” —HUVr Team

What began as a summer project in 2010 at the MIT Physics Graduate Program has evolved into one of the most exciting independent products to be developed out of MIT since the high-powered lithium-ion batteries developed by Yet-Ming Chiang in 2001. Our team consists of materials science, electricity, and magnetism experts who’ve solved an important part of one of science’s mysteries: the key to antigravity.

The HUVr Board team ultimately aims to improve the efficiency, speed, and sustainability of mass transportation. Yet rather than spend several more years closed off from the world while investing in research and development, the team and our world-class investors have worked to change the economics R&D by marketing this exciting consumer product in order to fund ongoing R&D.

And to top things off, we learn on the website that Mark Cuban, a venture capitalist who owns the NBA Dallas Mavericks and is known to invest on “Shark Tank,” has invested in HUVr Tech’s hoverboard.

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Fictitious hoverboard called the HUVr Board being demonstrated; photo is a screen grab from video

“Once in a rare while do you get the chance to be part of something this big,” Cuban is quoted as saying. “This is one of those times. I’ve never been so excited for a product I’ve invested in. This [expletive] thing is going to change the world!”

Based on the reaction on the HUVr Tech’s Facebook page, a large number of people actually believed the stunt, or at least wished the product were real. We know this, thanks to someone pointing it out on Facebook: HUVr Tech’s lead engineer, Nelson Cheng, is a real actor.

TechCrunch.com surmised that this elaborate scheme could be a teaser for “Back to the Future 4,” and that might very well be, while others are claiming it’s a Funny or Die prank. Whatever it is, we suspect it will be coming in December 2014.

Stay tuned.

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A screen grab from the HUVr Tech website

 

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