Hoverboards have been tipped as one of this year's must-have Christmas presents - but now customers are being advised to avoid them at all costs. The gadgets, also known as "personal motorised transporters", are two-wheeled electrical scooters. Despite their name, they don't actually hover and are controlled by subtle shifts in the user's weight. The boards have enjoyed a big boost in popularity recently, with Justin Bieber, Chris Brown and Kylie Jenner just some of the celebrities snapped on them.
Following another incident where a hoverboard went up in flames, London Fire Brigade issued a warning of the dangers by leaving them unattended while charging. He said: "Elaine and I are in shock. Otherwise we dread to think what might have happened. Sales of hoverboards have recently surged with many online retailers reporting recent rises of over per cent. In the film mad scientist Doc Brown takes Marty McFly to October 21 where people travelled using flying cars and kids owned hoverboards. He said: "The week before I took one of them to show two of my grandchildren, Jayden, six and Connor-Jay, 13 to check they would be big enough to use them. To check they all worked, Mr Hodkinson plugged one of the hoverboards into charge in the kitchen. He said: "Elaine and I were in the living room next door when we heard a massive swoosh.
This holiday season, the greatest risk for hoverboards, which have been all the rage, has not been rough pavement or unaware pedestrians. It has been the product's inability to not explode. On Tuesday morning, a hoverboard blew up in a suburban shopping mall near Seattle. Witnesses told local news that the explosion happened "for no reason" and that "sparks [were] shooting like a firework" from the hoverboard. It remains unclear what the brand was or which manufacturer built this hoverboard. Several videos and stories of exploding hoverboards have been making news over the past few months. The explosions were mostly caused by faulty batteries in the boards. One family home in Louisiana and an apartment in Hong Kong were burned down due to hoverboard fires.
It seemed that no sooner had hoverboards became the hottest new toy than they began to literally explode. The misleadingly named personal transportation device — it doesn't actually hover, as Back to the Future purists will remind you— was propelled into the mainstream last year by viral Internet-fueled popular demand and the unmatched speed and dexterity of the Chinese manufacturing sector that rose up to meet it. Celebrity buzz from the likes of Justin Bieber, Soulja Boy and Wiz Khalifa, and widely shared videos and social media posts stoked the popularity into a full-blown phenomenon. See also: Swagway develops new hoverboard that won't explode and burn your house down. But it wasn't long before they were making headlines for a different reason: Namely, the lithium ion batteries that powered them began to explode with some regularity, injuring riders and in some cases even burning down houses. Regulators issued sharp warnings. Add to that a series of costly patent battles and bans from cities, airlines, college campuses and major retailers and you have to ask: who's still buying hoverboards? And is it an industry that will still be around in a year? Spoiler: Yes, probably. Consumer technology and branding experts Mashable spoke to seemed doubtful that any of these controversies — yes, even the explosions — would spell the end for the sleek new sets of wheels.