Back To The Future 2015
The Michael J. Fox/Christopher Lloyd film Back to the Future II is enjoying a resurgence this year. Why? Because the 1989 film depicted life in a “futuristic” 2015. Naturally, movie geeks and futurists alike are rewatching the second installment of the Back to the Future trilogy to compare the filmmakers’ predictions with today’s reality.
The future is here, McFly!
Back to the Future Part II offered bold predictions for the technologies of 2015. No longer would we heat the oven or tie our own shoelaces — the future looked like a lazy, neon-colored dream. Well, now that we’ve officially entered 2015, it’s time to get pumped for the technology coming this year because movies never lie and you can always trust Doc Brown.
Great Scott! This year will change everything, so don’t be a chicken.
There are a few glaring differences between the 2015 on film and the 2015 of today:
Home fusion energy reactors.
It’s the power source scientists fantasize about: perpetual energy generation via nuclear fusion in a handy portable device. Unfortunately, everyday cold fusion technology is still a long way off.
Recreational internal organ replacement.
Doctor Brown tells Marty that he “went to the rejuvenation clinic and got an all natural overhaul” which included replacing his colon, spleen, and blood for non-medical reasons. But while lifesaving organ transplants are common, Hollywood stars and “Real Housewives” will have to wait longer for cosmetic transplants to become reality.
Overemphasis on 1980s technology.
Fax machines and phone booths were all around Marty, just like they were when the film was made. Today, printer/fax machines have largely been replaced by electronic communications and scanners – and it’s difficult to find a working phone booth anywhere.
Automatic dog walkers.
Abolition of lawyers.
Another bit of startling news relayed from Doc to Marty: “The justice system works swiftly in the future now that they’ve abolished all lawyers.” They got rid of all the attorneys by 2015? (You can stop laughing now.)
Here’s the big one: motor vehicles that remain rooted to terra firma. Futurists salivate at the idea of flying cars; but the truth is, these vehicles would probably create more problems than they would solve.
But as it turns out, Back to the Future II made a few accurate predictions as well:
Large-screen wall displays.
Today, many Americans own at least one flat-screen television, and many of these are simply colossal.
Tens of millions of people worldwide use Skype, the most popular video calling service. Whether it will eventually replace voice-only calls remains to be seen.
They may not be walking your dog yet, but consumer drones are already photographing and videoing events from above.
Iris-identification technology (similar to that seen in the movie) is in use already, and Apple may be trying to bring it to the consumer market. Another biometric application, using a fingerprint to access to a smartphone, is already commonplace.
You read that right – hoverboards do exist (though you can’t buy one just yet). A company called Hendo has invented such a gadget which mimics Marty McFlys signature form of transportation. Skateboarding great Tony Hawk even took it for a spin last year. Here’s the catch: it only works on metal surfaces since it operates using electromagnetic fields in opposition with one another – which provide the “lift” of the hoverboard.