The future has arrived. Forget iPhones and tablets, the 21st century’s most anticipated invention is finally here (or so we though): the hoverboard. If you haven’t already heard, an online campaign promoting the Back to the Future Part II prop called HUVr launched worldwide on Tuesday. Accompanied by a viral video and featuring a handful of credible celebrities like Tony Hawk and Christopher Lloyd, the commercial proved the awesomeness of the floating device. It supposedly can be controlled by a smartphone, travel at insane speeds, and ride along ramps! It seemed our childhood dreams were coming to life.
But, it’s all bullshit. Complete bullshit. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE HOVERBOARD IS A HOAX.
Betrayed, heartbroken, cheated. These may just be a few emotions you’re feeling right now and you’re not alone. I emailed my editor the link to the video with three exclamation points!!! However, NYU sophomore and avid skateboarder Sebastian Saygeh didn’t shy from admitting the truth: “Really? It’s fake. I can’t believe you fell for that. You can see the strings pulling them up. I’m embarrassed for you.”
Damn, but the video was so convincing! Slow motion shots, science geeks, a pro-skater! In fact, HUVr Tech’s website is full of believable information. It not only includes links to well-crafted and produced short films, but it also shows the team of supposed MIT graduates wearing glasses and smiling with crossed arms. Classy. There’s even design pictures and a tab to its “Legal Terms.”
The public was bound to investigate, and it appears Funny or Die was behind the whole scheme. The Verge uncovered that the same production company who helped rebuild the comical website, Spring Studio, also worked with the HUVr campaign. Blogger and former CTO of Kickstarter Andy Baio then discovered that one of the apparent MIT graduates is actually a budding actor named Nelson Cheng. Mashable even found a costume designer, Lauren Beidenharn, who wrote on her online resume that she “worked on the HUVR Boards commercial for Funny or Die” last November. Sad face. The invention really was too good to be true.
So, why would Funny or Die trick us? There’s a lot of speculation going on out there. Some believe it’s a great segue into another Back to the Future movie, others think it could just be a promotion for Tony Hawk’s clothing and video game franchise. However, everyone’s reactions on Facebook and social media only validate how necessary hoverboards are in real life. The internet tricked us, but it’s only a matter of time before we’re hoverboarding on the ocean three inches from a shark’s face. Your move, technology.
[Image via screencap]