October 21st, 2015. This date ring any bells, other than the fact that yes, that is today’s date? Well astute Back To The Future II fans, today is d-day. Or, more accurately, the day Marty McFly and Doc Brown arrived into Hill Valley, fresh from 1985.
Possibly one of the most cult films of its time, the Back To The Future movie franchise has and continues to withstand the test of time, thanks to the fact that for the most part, the movie was INSANELY ahead of its time. We’re talking creepily, eerily similar to life today. So no we don’t have self drying clothes or flying cars (yet), but check out the technology we do have that first made an appearance in Back to the Future…
Drones are referenced in BTTF II, and whilst we’re yet to progress to drone dog walkers (which is, let’s face it, pretty damn weird), the rest of the drones used in the movie are pretty much common place in 2015. A ‘USA Today’ drone captures Biff’s arrest in the movie, whilst today, numerous networks are beginning to use unmanned aerial vehicles to capture previously inaccessible footage.
Remember the scene where Jennifer turns on her lights using voice command? Oh yeah, 2015 is all over that, thanks to smart home automation.
SMART HOME GADGETS
Whilst we WISH the hydrator oven that cooks your pizza in record time really did exist, what we do have is pretty much every other piece of some home gadgetry you can think of – touch screen appliances, a fridge that lets you order food from the supermarket (the LG Smart Manager), even ovens that read out instructions and recipes to you.
Ever the genius, Doc Brown uses a device in the movie that overlays information about people, so you can see them in reality, and then information about them at the same time. In other words…augmented reality. Now you don’t have to be a tech geek to know that augmented reality is and has been around for some time, thanks to developers like Oculus Rift. It’s pretty much one of our favourite technologies right now (apart from virtual reality, we love that too), we just wish Doc Brown was real in 2015 to predict where it’s going to go next.
They may not have smartphones in the movie (hey, you can’t predict everything), but they do have smart glasses, as worn by both Marty McFly and his daughter, Marlene. Sure the Back to the Future versions are chunky as hell, but we’d probably still rather wear them than walk around feeling like a total dork in Google Glass, the 2015 equivalent.
Those without an eagle eye may miss this one, but tablets DO make an appearance in Back to the Future II, in a kind of blink and you’ll miss it moment. When Doc meets Marty by the clock tower, he’s holding a device that looks eerily similar to an iPad. Steve Jobs, maybe not such a revolutionist after all…
SELF TYING SHOES
Of everything we want to be real from the movie, these we probably want the most (after the hoverboard, obviously). Well, the good news is, they’re not far away. In 2010, Nike applied for a patent for automatically lacing trainers, and this year they plan to sell power laces, according to designer Tinker Hadfield. But before you get too excited, remember this – we’ve heard all this before from Nike, who released a limited run of replica Nike MAGs in 2011, but instead of self tying laces, they just stuck a piece of elastic where the laces should be. Secondly, it’s already nearly the end of October, so if they want to release these by the end of 2015, they better get their self tying skates on.
FINGER PRINT SCANNERS
A big part of Back to the Future 2015 life was fingerprint technology. The McFly 2015 household uses a fingerprint scanner instead of a door lock, and Biff even uses his thumbprint to pay for a taxi (cough, contactless payment). Fingerprint scanning is integrated into mobile phone technology in the real 2015, and we’re sure we’ll be paying for a heap more things with our pinkies in the years to come.
Remember in the movie when Marty speaks to his phone colleagues via video call? AND SKYPE WASN’T EVEN INVENTED THEN.
So we know they’re not really real yet, but we’re so, so close. First there was the Lexus hoverboard, which actually wasn’t a real hoverboard (but looks SO real – check this out), but now there’s the Hendo which we have absolute faith in. Designed by Californian architect Greg Henderson, the Hendo Hoverboard uses four hover engines that emit magnetic fields which push against each other – as long as a metal conductor is used in the surface underneath. Sounds pretty science-y, but Tony Hawk himself has tried and tested it, and has proved it works. IT ACTUALLY WORKS. Hoverboards are coming, mark our words…