We may still be waiting for the first true hoverboards, but one firm says its single-wheeler feels so like hovering that it’s actually called the Hoverboard. The board is mounted atop a 10-in wheel, with users leaning forward to accelerate and backwards to decelerate or change direction.
The Hoverboard is, of course, very similar to last year’s One Wheel and that’s not something that has escaped the attention of its manufacturer. In a direct comparison with the One Wheel, Hoverboard Technologies claims its single-wheeled electric skateboard is faster, offers a longer rage and is quicker to charge. It’s also reported to use sonar technology to stay stable and has API connectivity.
The 25 lb (11 kg) Hoverboard is powered by a 5,000 W motor, which is part of the drive-unit at the center of the wheel. This delivers a top speed limited to 16 mph (26 km/h) and a range of 12 miles (19 km). The board charges at a rate of 1.5 minutes per mile. The sonar detection informs the board’s self-balancing system to keep the board parallel with the ground, while regenerative braking is employed to recover energy and charge the board when going down hills or decelerating.
The board also has LED lighting, and built-in speakers for playing music while you ride. These features are said to use up to 10 percent and negligible amounts of power respectively. An LCD screen on the board displays information for the rider.