The future is here, and it involves hover boards (maybe... probably not).
The video above, released by HuvrTech, shows Terrell Owens and Tony Hawk (among other celebrities) trying out the Back To The Future-esque invention.
HuvrTech's website describes the venture "as a summer project in 2010 at the MIT Physics Graduate Program that has evolved into one of the most exciting independent products to be developed out of MIT since the high-powered lithium-ion batteries developed by Yet-Ming Chiang in 2001. Our team consists of materials science, electricity & magnetism experts who've solved an important part of one of science's mysteries: the key to antigravity."
Naturally, there are many doubters, not the least of which is Will Oremus of Slate, who wrote of the video above:
Some hoaxes are funny. Some deftly satirize some aspect of our culture. Some, like the computer-generated gibberish papers that made it into scientific journals, cleverly expose dangerously low institutional standards.
But other hoaxes—and these disproportionately tend to fall into the “viral marketing stunt” category—amount to nothing but cynical exploitation of humans’ tendency to believe other humans when they say something is true.
TechCrunch's Darrell Etherington was also quite skeptical:
The tagline is that the “Future Has Arrived,” when in fact it hasn’t. Aside from being a clear (though still technically impressive) fake, the website for this demo and fake company also shows a counter with December 2014 as the projected “destination time” for whatever’s going on here. That could just be part of the artificial HUVr product dressing, but it could also be when whatever’s being promoted here breaks cover.
Etherington also posited the possibility that this was all a gigantic publicity stunt for a Back to the Future sequel, which would probably make everyone that was fooled by it feel a lot better.
Mashable also found the resume of one of the costume designers who worked on the shoot and indicated it was organized by Funny or Die.
HUVrTech posted the following statement on Facebook in response to mounting skepticism:
Part of the legalese on HUVrTech's website reads:
In addition, the information and materials on this website may contain inaccuracies and typographical errors. HUVr does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of such information and materials or the reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other information displayed or distributed through the site. You acknowledge that any reliance on any such opinion, advice, statement, memorandum, or information shall be at your sole risk.
I'm not a lawyer, but this seems to cover the venture's bases in the event that this is all a hoax.
Mark Cuban is listed on the website as one of the backers, which sort of supports both arguments that the company is real and fake. Cuban is obviously a respected venture capitalist, but he's also someone with a sense of humor who might agree to go along with something like this:
Real or fake, we'll probably find out a lot more about this invention in the near future. My mind leans towards fake, but my heart oh so wants it to be real, because: