Let’s start with clarifying that a hoverboard doesn’t actually hover. The board with two wheels on the side became very populair last year and you’ve probably spotted a few people riding them. Mostly kids. It kinda became some status symbol and a replacement for walking.
When celeberties were spotted riding on their hoverboard suddenly the hoverboards became extremely populair. In no time you saw people riding hoverboards in the cities. A lot of stores put one of them in front in their windows differentiating from toy stores to electronic stores, selling them for around 300,- euros. There was even this guy who made a song about one:
Despite this lyrically brilliant performance and all the positive things the hoverboard brought to us there was also a downside. Some people became scared of the idea that people will be crossing on motorized vehicles with 9 kilometers per hour and flashy led lights. They feared for the safety of the people. Also after a while of use the first hoverboards started crashing. There were a lot of reported cases of hoverboards that were exploding and catching fire (1). A little while after that the U.S. government had officialy declared any hoverboard on the market unsafe. A lot of retailers pulled the hoverboards from their shelves. With most of the larger stores shutting hoverboard sales down, consumers unconcerned or unaware of the safety issues could only buy the hoverboards at smaller retail outlets and online markets (2). Eventually less and less people were buying the boards in the U.S. and so they became less populair. And how the trend started in the U.S., it also ended in the U.S.
The hoverboard trend is definitely a micro trend. The lifespan was around a year, starting in 2015 and ending in 2016. Also there wasn’t a consumer need for a new way of transportation.
Maybe the hoverboard is just one of the few steps that will lead us to whole different ideas about transportation. Maybe one day we might actually reacht the point where people are ‘hovering’ around the globe… What do you think?
Written by Olmo A. Borsboom (1666984)
1) Nosey Staff., 28- 12 – 2015, De opkomst en ondergang van het hoverboard, de onwaarschijnlijke trend van 2015 in muziekland, Retrieved on 14 – 9 – 2016 from http: https://noisey.vice.com/nl/article/de-opkomst-en-ondergang-van-het-hoverboard-de-onwaarschijnlijke-trend-van-2015-in-muziekland
2) Strange A., The rise and fall of the hoverboard, Retrieved on 9 – 9 – 2016 from: http://mashable.com/2016/04/16/rise-and-fall-hoverboard/#e0mc1.gSukqR