From fun-loving kids to influencing tech enthusiasts- hoverboards are everyone’s cup of tea these days. Justing Beiber is riding one, it’s on the top-rated sports items in Amazon, and the list can go on and on.
But we are not here to discuss how hoverboards have many of this generation ‘onboard’ these days. Instead, we’re going to look back to the history of when and how it was invented. On top of that, it’ll also be revealed where those machines are being manufactured these days.
Sounds enticing? Grab a cup of coffee, and let’s hop right in.
Hoverboard- Where The Name Came From?
The question looks as strange as it is because we all know what it is, right? But do you know the fascinating story behind the naming?
Before going into facts, let’s recall the story for a moment.
Although the name suggests, Hoverboards don’t ‘hover’ at all. It’s just a consideration in the media, which was vastly inspired by MK Joseph’s science fiction novel published in 1967.
To keep things more towards the reality, Marty FC Fly had assigned an alternative name to this commuter, which is Self-balancing scooters. Needless to say, both names had earned their share of popularity, however.
Shane Chen- Let’s Know The Inventor First
Let’s take some time and get to know the man behind the trend- Shane Chen, a Chinese-American investor, and entrepreneur.
After a glorious career in agricultural bioscience, Chen decided to sell up his successful startup named CID Inc in 2009, and focus on rather consumer products instead. And it was 2013 when Shane came up with the founding idea of hoverboards.
And needless to say, a number of evolution processes had taken place since then. But the founding credit will be forever for the enthusiastic inventor- Shane Chen.
When(and how) Was The Hoverboard Invented?
It was May of 2013, when Shane launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, and that brought the Chinese tech entity Chic Robotics into the game.
Chic Robotics launched its very first hoverboard named as the Smart S1 in August 2014. It was displayed in the Canton Fair Trade Show of that year. And once it drew its initial share of attention, the rest of its popularity just spread out like bonfire.
Well, that’s when the hoverboards or self-balancing scooters were officially made public. Although, 2013 will be always remembered as the birth-year of the original idea itself, dropped by Shane Chen.
Hovertrax: The 1st Ever Hoverboard
Before they got to be known as the infamous ‘hoverboard’, Shane Chen, the founder named them as the ‘Hovertrax’. But it’s a pity that the name from its father was not labeled on the device so long.
Let’s explain why-
When Chic Robotics first released their hoverboard as ‘Smart S1’, it immediately started being produced in bulk in Shenzhen- the Chinese Silicon Valley. But there came some pattern conflicts in China raised by Chen.
It was Mark Cuben who announced that he would take over the patent of hoverboard from Chen to his company. And that’s the day when the hoverboards were stopped being called the Hovertrax.
Where Are Hoverboards Made?
As you already know, It was Chic Robotics from China who started to manufacture hoverboards under their label on an industrial basis. But it was not so late when the manufacturing rights were revisited as the US International Trade Commission Took over this case.
Let’s break the facts down-
With the hoverboards that were manufactured in China, their technical issues were rising day by day. If you’d ask how much do hoverboards cost back then, the answer would be a pleasing figure. But right after those technical issues took place(in 2016), The US Trade Commission filed a patent infringement case against UP TECH, UP Robotics, UP Technology, and Free Go China.
On the other side, Segway- the brand came into a settlement in this matter and started manufacturing hoverboards officially. And right now, these are some of the popular brands manufacturing both heavy-duty and lightweight hoverboards that meet almost all ends, officially for the global market-
However, that didn’t change that the machines are still being manufactured in Shenzhen, China. In fact, many established brands have been taking the facility from the Chinese silicon valley to manufacture devices from iPad to drones.
Therefore, they are still a device created in Shenzhen, China. And the city had earned the tagline of ‘purpose-built to bring the world electronics’ for a very valid reasons.
A Bit of Warning
The rise of hoverboards is no less than a dream come true from any tech entity. And it’s still on the rise of its popularity curve. But there are some dark spots on the other side of the coin.
Every now and then, news is being reported about hoverboards catching on fire. And it’s labeled as official when the US and UK local fire departments had reported in favor of this allegation.
But the fresh breath or air is, not all of the brands have those claims on them. And most of the fire incidents are easily avoidable if you are a little bit careful about your little commuter. Especially, recharging the battery safely is the ground rule to avoid something like this.
Tech is moving, and it’s moving faster than ever. And the epic rise of hoverboard and it’s siblings points us to the fact that personal commuting is the arena where big tech giants will play.
Nonetheless, it’s always the hoverboard who crafted the way, and the fascinating story behind that will always be recalled.