It’s been the dream of countless nerds since at least 1989. We want our hoverboards, and we want them now. But if Neil deGrasse Tyson is to be believed, we’re going to be waiting for a while.
The Huffington Post recently talked with Tyson about the likelihood that we’ll see hoverboards like the ones in Back to the Future: Part II anytime soon. He wasn’t optimistic. Despite the fact that companies are developing neat (and incredibly loud) hoverboards, we’re still quite a way from developing the kind that can work on any surface.
“There are people working on it, and there are working versions of it, but hoverboards that cover everywhere? Where you would have taken a skateboard? I think that’s unrealistic, and it requires a special under surface to support it,” Tyson told the Huffington Post. We’ve been expressing our own scepticism along those very same lines for some time.
But there’s still some hope for people who might settle for hoverboard skate parks, according to Tyson. “I can imagine hoverboards in certain hoverboard venues where they’ve actually done the physics right in the hoverboard and the ground surface as well,” he said.
This post originally appeared on Paleofuture, a Gizmodo blog looking into the future that never was