Great Scott, it’s the 21st October 2015!
Thirty years ago, the movie made some big promises about the technology we would have today, including things like flying cars and dog-walking drones.
1. Flying cars
We saw Doc (Christopher Lloyd) and Marty (Michael J Fox) in a flying car in the movie and Doc even said: “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” Unfortunately, we still have roads and the wheels of our vehicles are still persistently on the ground.
But, the movie’s predictions were not completely incorrect. Massachusetts-based Terrafugia is on the way of developing vehicles that double up as both planes and car. There is even a prototype that was tested in many series.
The first Terrafugia’s model, called Transition, was made in 2011. The model has space for two passengers and it is expected to cost $279,000 when it eventually goes on sale.
Terrafugia revealed a successor concept called TF-X, earlier this year. The company said that they are aiming to develop a vehicle that could be parked in a home garage, like an ordinary car, and to make the machine semi-autonomous, with usage of computer controls, so the passengers would only have to type the wanted location before taking off.
After arriving in the future, we saw Marty escaping from Biff Jnr (Thomas Wilson) by stealing a hoverboard from a young girl. After this scene, many companies have claimed that they have built working hoverboards.
In October, 2014, Californian architect, Greg Henderson designed a similar hoverboard that floats in mid-air and called it Hendo Hoverboard.
The hoverboard has been tested by champion skateboarder Tony Hawk and it has shown that it works.
3. Mobile reactors
What we have are electric cars. What we don’t have is a nuclear reactor attached to the back of our motors, which converts everyday rubbish into fuel. The idea of powering cars with reactors like this is enticing, but it’s not going to happen.
This process is called cold fusion. Even though, some scientists have claimed to have produced cold fusion, it is still a fantasy.
4. Cosmetic surgery factories
The Doc doesn’t have to worry about what he is eating or which night cream to choose. He can just go to rejuvenation clinic and he will be 30 years younger.
Today, all over the world, there are clinics that offer various cosmetic surgeries, such as facelifts and Botox injections.
5. Multi-channel screens
We have seen Marty watching six TV channels at the same time. A viewer in 1989 could have not think that things like that would ever exist in the future. But, here’s the future and we already have smart TV sets on which is possible to display at least two channels at the same time.
6. 3D Movies
As soon as Marty arrives in the future, he is attacked by a holographic shark from the theater to attract him into the cinema. Yes, we don’t have holographic movies, but a 3D technology is not far from it.
7. Self-tying laces
Self-tying laces are everyone’s dream right? In part II, we saw Marty putting on a pair of Nike High Tops that automatically tighten, using so-called power laces.
This miracle has not come in the present, yet. But, the Nike designer, Tinker Hatfield, claimed that they are on their way to make this happen, this year.
8. Weather service
Doc had the possibility to look at his watch and predict exactly when it will stop raining. We don’t have the same technology, sure thing, but we have our weather forecasts to tell us whether should we put an umbrella in our bags or not.
9. Self-drying jackets
Back to the Future promised us self-drying jackets. And also, with one touch of the button, Marty could make the jacket adjust to his size. Great opportunity to avoid the fitting room and its queue, right?
10. Fingerprint scanners
We saw that McFly household has a fingerprint scanner instead of a door lock, and Biff even uses his thumbprint to pay for a taxi.
Today, the fingerprint scanners are common place, especially on phones like Apple and Samsung. But, those in the movie look much more fun, for sure.
11. Video calls
In the movie, Marty speaks to his colleagues on a video call. Nowadays, we use Skype and FaceTime in a similar way, and also we can connect our phones and computers with the TV to make a video call on a big screen. “Back To The Future” got that right.
12. Automatic dog-walkers
Back To The Future thought it would be a floating robot that would do walking duties. Even though, dog-walking services are present in our time, those who walk the dogs are still human.
13. Moving rubbish bins
You know the feeling when you are in need of a rubbish bin, but there is none near you? The movie thought that they would fly to you in the perfect moment. But, here we are, without them.
14. Petrol station robots
Back To The Future thought that we would have a robot that will meet us, fill our tanks and process the payment for us. Practically enough, no doubts. We are waiting for this!
Although, the movie got many things right for the 21st century, there were some omissions.
The film didn’t have smart phones, like we do nowadays, as we saw that Marty telephoned using a phone booth. Also, it never mentioned the Internet, even though it is assumed that such technologies would use a similar system to display information.
But, possibly the biggest wrong prediction of the movie was the one about time travel – and there is no sign of that becoming a reality anytime soon.