Take a Ride on the Lexus Hoverboard at the L.A. Auto Show


Back in August, Lexus and CHI & Partners made all our “Back to the Future” dreams come true when they released this mind-boggling video featuring a real-life hoverboard, as part of the car brand’s ongoing “Amazing in Motion” campaign. And despite others’ attempts to debunk the video as a hoax, the automaker came out as pretty legit. Today, at the L.A. Auto Show, Lexus is now inviting visitors to take a ride on the hoverboard for themselves, albeit in a simulated, virtual reality experience created by The Mill and Spinifex Group.

“Ride the Slide,” invites attendees of the auto fest to mount a real board and zoom through a virtual skatepark. Displayed in a “video cave” decked out with 18 monitors, the real-time experience was created in video game engine Unreal. The Mill wrote custom software to distribute the synchronized content across all the screens. Apollo Studios also created spatial audio to enhance the journey.

The hoverboard itself is a pressure-sensitive controller that reads and then translates the user’s weight distribution to determine how the experience unfolds. The board can also adjust for speed according to the users’ movements — back and forward, from side to side. (The video here shows The Mill’s L.A. producer Daniel Midgley going for a spin.)

“It’s more than a game, more than a film, more than a ride,” said Mill Co-Creative Director Westley Sarokin in a statement. “We’ve blended them together to create an experience that induces wonder and play, transporting people to an enormously rare and playful experience.

The experience is also outfitted with a multi-camera system that allows users to record their ride and then share a 15-second movie via the hashtags #Lexus and #Hoverboard.

The L.A Auto Show runs through November 29 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.