The man who invented the hoverboard has seen his brainchild go from a small novelty to a worldwide craze, but, much like many users of his invention, he lost control of the device somewhere along the way.
Shane Chen of Camas, Washington created and patented the hoverboard in 2012 and saw the device slowly gain in popularity until it burst into the zeitgeist in 2015.
Shortly thereafter, he says, Chinese factories simply became making low-cost imitation versions of the hoverboard at an incredible rate.
"We only made maybe a few thousand," Chen told The Guardian, "I got a report that there are over 11,000 factories making them in China. They made more than a million."
Surprisingly, Chen is serene about the fortune that was essentially pilfered by patent thieves.
"If you look at history, inventors are usually poor. Other people make money," he told the paper.
A prolific inventor, he lamented that six of his other innovations have also been copied over the last decade as well.
The tragic irony of Chen's hoverboard story is that he actually immigrated to the United States from China because he wanted the freedom to invent and now his homeland has plundered his innovation.
Despite the missed chance at millions of dollars, Chen confessed to taking gratification in seeing the worldwide popularity of the hoverboard and knowing that it came from his humble workshop.
And, like any great inventor, he's got a slew of new ideas that just may leave the hoverboard in the dust
Source: The Guardian