In two days, Back to the Future fans will celebrate “Future” day. In Back to the Future II, October 21, 2015 was the day that Marty (Michael J. Fox) and Doc (Christopher Lloyd) set their time traveling clock to before they jumped into the DeLorean and burned rubber. Millions of people sat fully engaged, drinking in your whimsical future.
2015 seemed a long way off and many predictions were made about what the future may hold. Some of these predictions seemed a bit silly while others captured our imaginations of what could be. Let’s take a look at five of McFly’s 2015 future advances to see how far we have truly come.
1. The Infamous Hoverboard: Every kid wanted one of these and hoped they were in the works. Could you imagine hovering around town and what would skate parks have looked like? Sadly many were disappointed. Lexus (yes, the car people) has just introduced the first hoverboard, SLIDE. Dietmar Berger, Magnetic Levitation Engineer and Professor Ludwig Schultz, Pioneer of Superconductor Levitation; (okay these titles are way too cool) developed the board and special track. SLIDE is powered through superconductors, liquid nitrogen and magnets and requires a specially designed magnetic track to work. So we are nearly there kids. The hoverboard exists – just not for mass consumption. I only hope you aren’t filing for social security before you actually get to ride one.
2. Voice Control: I am not quite ordering my kitchen appliances around but voice recognition has become a large part of our daily lives. Take for instance, that woman many of us speak with when we need answers. “Hey Siri, when was Back to the Future II released?” We have voice to text capabilities as well. Oh and let’s not forget those annoying voice recognition phone support lines. That usually goes something like this, “One”, “One”, “ONE!”, “ONE!”, “REPRESENTATIVE!!!”, “I SAID REPRESENTATIVE DAMMIT!”
3. Fingerprint Recognition: The McFly’s were unlocking their front door. We are unlocking doors as well as our phones. Hmm… anyone seeing a trend here. Was Steve Jobs a big Back to the Future fan?
4. Video Calling: There he is in Technicolor; Needles. If there were ever a reason for a regular phone conversation it was that mug. Oh and why do I want to know his hobbies and food preferences, is this doubling as a dating site? But yes, they got it right, again. Skype, Facetime, Hipchat, ClickMeeting, WebEX and countless others have brought us together digitally. Gone are the days of working at home in your underwear. Well unless you aim the camera perfectly but remember, don’t stand up.
5. Smart homes: In the movie, Jennifer’s house speaks to her and turns on the lights. We are led to believe this is just the beginning of what the house can do. Smart homes and smart buildings are a reality today. Motion controlled lights, security and heating systems controlled remotely by your phone are just a few of the technical advances we appreciate today. The internet of things is on the rise.
Well done Back to the Future II! Your team of writers were very insightful when it came to tech. It appears your biggest missteps were about fashion. Let’s take that double collar, double neck tie monstrosity Marty is wearing. That tie is ugly enough without having a twin.
What is happening with the headwear in your predicted 2015? Were you all big Devo fans? The bullies wear a range of metal buckets and rubber air hoses on their heads. Even the kids got the short end. One boy has a plastic yellow, dare I call it a visor and Elijah Wood’s hat looks like a bowl and a fly swatter had a love child. Essentially everyone in the diner looks like they fell out of a music video.
We can be a lazy society. We want everything quickly and with minimal effort; fast food, fast service and please a faster wifi connection. Technology is making our lives a little easier every day. Yet I do not believe we have reached the point of self-tying shoes. I want to tie my laces, thank you. I prefer to not look like I am wearing astronaut boots or basketball sneakers on steroids.
It’s okay, you can’t get them all right. We wouldn’t want you to either. The fun is in the imagining.