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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Are We Ready to Throw Away Our Hoverboards?

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The hottest trend this holiday season comes with a major health warning after several reported injuries. They are literally hot nowadays!

Amazon has recalled hoverboards over fire safety fears due to several news of units exploding or catching fire. There was also an advisory to their buyers to throw away certain hoverboards, and they also rolled out some safety standards.

Many have also been taking hard falls resulting to injuries like fractured bones. Mike Tyson was among those that fell off their hoverboards. To stay safe on hoverboards, it is not enough to just wear a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads. You might as well wear a butt pad.

Some countries have also banned the use and selling of the gadget. They are banned from use in many public roads and pavements. Russell Crowe wasn't happy with an Australian airline that wouldn't let his children take their hoverboards on a flight. The actor was apparently unaware of the safety concerns linked to the devices when his sons wanted to take them on a holiday. Crowe took to Twitter to air his grievances with Virgin Australia Airlines.

China's makeshift hoverboard industry is also imploding after Amazon's safety crackdown. There are several places that have stop selling these new fad because some parts are obviously cheap and faulty and could really cause spontaneous combustion (bursting into flames).

In the Philippines, many celebrities were seen promoting these hoverboards, thus many fans who've seen their idols using the toy were enticed to buy one for themselves. I've tried riding one at one during a new gadget store branch launch. It sure was fun riding it, and was easy to learn and manageable even while I was holding a selfie stick (monopod) with a smartphone to video capture my ride. However, I was riding it really slow because I was afraid to fall.

There was even a priest in the Philippines who was penalized for using a hoverboard in his mass during Christmas eve. The intention to innovate and attract attention was good but his superiors find it desecrating the holy mass. He will be out of the parish and was ordered to spend some time to reflect.

Statement of the Diocese of San Pablo on the “Hoverboard” Issue
"The Diocese of San Pablo wishes to address an issue involving one of its clergy. Last December 24, 2015, before the final blessing of the Christmas eve mass, as a way of greeting his parishioners, the priest sang a Christmas song, while going around the nave standing on a hoverboard.
That was wrong.
The Eucharist demands utmost respect and reverence. It is the Memorial of the Lord’s Sacrifice. It is the source and summit of Christian life. It is the Church’s highest form of worship. Consequently, it is not a personal celebration where one can capriciously introduce something to get the attention of the people.
The priest said that it was a wake up call for him; he acknowledged that his action was not right and promised that it will not happen again.
He will be out of the parish and will spend some time to reflect on this past event.
He would like to apologize for what happened."

But why are we calling it a hoverboard in the first place? The gadget is not really hovering. If it has wheels then it should not be called a hoverboard.

From a CNN video release, it shows that Arca Space Corporation has released the ArcaBoard. It can hover up to 1 foot off the ground and travel 12.5 mph. It uses 36 fans generating 272 horsepower to hover up to 6 minutes. Estimated cost is USD 20k. The ArcaBoard just barely meets the "Back to the Future: Part II" deadline with a late 2015 announcement showing the hoverboard truly hovering.

Lexus also revealed a hoverboard but it will not be sold to the public. It used magnetic levitation and requires a special track to hover. Arx Pax unveiled the Hendo 2.0  hoverboard. It uses magnetic field architecture to hover.

Good luck to those who bought or received "hoverboards" this Christmas. May it not turn out to be a firecracker for the New Year.

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