The 25 Best Inventions of 2014

Welcome to TIME’s annual round-up of the best inventions making the world better, smarter and—in some cases—a little more fun. Check out the list HERE.

The Real-Life Hoverboard

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The Hendo Hoverboard ($10,000)—a type of skateboard that levitates like a magic carpet—had been a pipe dream since its fictional debut in 1989’s Back to the Future Part II. Now California-based tech firm Hendo has built the real thing.

Granted, there are caveats. Hendo’s hoverboard can float only an inch or so above the ground, and even then only over conductive material like copper or aluminum. Just 10 are being made to order (so far). And battery life is 15 minutes—barely enough time to zoom past your enemies à la Marty McFly.

But the technology that powers it could be revolutionary. Using the $450,000-plus it raised on Kickstarter, Hendo founders Jill and Greg Henderson plan to develop magnetic “hovering” tech to stabilize buildings during earthquakes, protect valuable works of art and more. “The hoverboard is the first step to bringing this technology to the world,” says Greg.

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