It might have once sounded like a pipe dream, but more than one company is trying to convince us that hoverboards are going to be a thing of the future. Last year, a company called Hendo hit the Web in a big way with a prototype that looks just as cool as we'd hope. This past August, a few months in advance of "Back to the Future Day", Lexus showed off its own prototype, one that arguably looks quite a bit better than Hendo's.
It's important to note that neither of the boards we've seen up to this point are consistent with the kind of hoverboard we saw in Back to the Future 2, where they could be used on any surface - water or pavement proves no problem. Instead, magnetic fields are required, meaning that once (or if) these hoverboards hit the market, where they can be used is going to be extremely limited.
In the meantime, many people have latched onto an alternative that's still wildly considered a "hoverboard": it's akin to a Segway, but consists only of a board and a wheel on each side. They take some serious practice to master, but once the skill is honed, you can get from point A to B very quickly.
It's for that reason that the New York Police Department has begun issuing warnings of their use. You are simply not allowed to use them in New York streets, else you could be fined up to $200. The reason is likely obvious: there's just way too much risk of injury to others given the sheer number of people that litter the sidewalks at any given point during the day.
There is an upside, though: in parks, you can use them to your heart's content.
Something tells us that the NYPD won't be the last agency to hover these threats over us.