For people who are turned off by the fact that the latest so-called hoverboards do not actually hover — or by reports that they sometimes burst into flames — a couple of companies are offering the real thing. But it will cost you.
A New Mexico company called Arca Space Corp. has begun taking orders for the ArcaBoard, a rechargeable electric-powered vehicle that flies while the passenger stands on top. The company said it plans to begin shipping the boards in April for $19,900 each.
The ArcaBoard is powered by 36 electric motors that drive small fans embedded in the platform. The motors generate 272 horsepower and about 430 pounds of thrust, or lifting power. The board is 57 inches long, 30 inches wide and 6 inches thick, and weighs 180 pounds, so you will not be carrying it around under your arm like a skateboard. But the machine can carry a rider weighing as much as 243 pounds, the company said.
The board has a stabilization system that keeps it upright, level and safe for riding. A phone can be used to control the board and for navigation. However, riders will have the option of turning off the stabilization system and controlling the board with body movements “for the most intense experience,” Arca Space said.
The board flies about a foot above the ground for six minutes before needing a recharge. Charging the battery takes six hours using the standard plug-in charger, but a $4,500 charging accessory called the ArcaDock can have the board ready to go again in 35 minutes.
Omni Hoverboards, a Canadian company with its own version of the technology, is not ready to sell its boards yet but has a working prototype called the Mark-1. It won the Guinness World Records title for the longest distance traveled by a hoverboard after a flight of 905 feet and 2 inches. TODAY reached out to both companies for additional comment, but didn't immediately hear back.
The current crop of non-hovering hoverboards, which are really electric-powered, two-wheeled scooters, made a pop-culture splash as holiday gifts late last year, but retail giant Amazon has stopped selling them following several reports of the vehicles catching fire.