A South Bay startup aims to improve earthquake safety.
Arx Pax, based in Los Gatos, is known for creating a hoverboard to let people float above the ground. The company now wants to use the same technology to one day lift a building during an earthquake.
"We're able to activate our hover engine, separate from the Earth and allow the Earth to shake, not affecting the structure," Arx Pax CEO Greg Henderson said.
Officials said the technology could work with the United States Geological Survey's shake alert system.
In light of recent quakes in Napa and Nepal, UC Berkeley's seismological laboratory has been looking into the Arx Pax technology.
"This is not some sort of out there science fiction idea," said Dr. Jennifer Strauss, UC Berkeley seismological lab. "This is a reasonable idea that could actually work."
Arx Pax has a patent for what is calls "Levitating Houses." The goal of the system is to allow houses to rise for about 90 seconds -- the average time of an earthquake.