Here’s what ‘Back to the Future II’ got right about 2015

When the clock strikes midnight on Wednesday, we will be catapulted into a new year.  It isn’t a new century, or even a new decade, but what makes 2015 special was how it was portrayed in the classic movie trilogy Back to the Future.

In the last scene of the original 1985 film Doc Brown, Marty McFly and his girlfriend take off for the future, 30 years away. In Back to the Future Part II, starring Canada’s Michael J. Fox, they touch down in 2015 and Marty McFly is astonished at what he finds.

But how well did Steven Spielberg and his team envision the future?  There were a few hits and a few misses.

Flying Cars

When Marty touches down in 2015, he encounters cars zipping through the air. Sadly, we aren’t there yet.

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While the Editor-in-Chief of, David Silverberg, said there is a prototype of a flying car, it is far from being mainstream, and with its folding wings, it is more of a “road-able plane” than flying car.

Flying cars may not be all they are cracked up to be anyway, in the movie, there is still traffic, at a critical juncture Doc worries: “The skyway is jammed it’s going to take us forever to get there.”


Like flying cars, we are currently out of luck when it comes to flying versions of skate boards. Skateboarder phenom Tony Hawk has tested out something called a Hendo Hoverboard which uses magnetic fields to levitate off the ground.  However, it is barely off the ground and is no way close to soaring through the air.

Power laces and smart clothing

You could say we are getting there.  While we don’t have boots that lace themselves up yet, or jackets which “auto-dry”, various forms of smart clothing are in the works, including some with special sensors for medical applications.

Smart phones

Marty doesn’t have one of these, and at one point actually heads to a pay phone.

“That was one of the biggest misses, cellphones are so ubiquitous today they are such a part of our lives,” futurist Jim Carroll said.

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Wearable technology

Here is another major checkmark.  The glasses Marty and his sister wear at the dinner table and use to answer the home phone, look an awful lot like Google Glass, and could have even been an inspiration to Google, according to Silverberg.

Video calls

Marty’s dad George McFly answers a video call from his nasty boss. This is bang on.  Although it isn’t clear by what means the video call works, it looks very much like Facetime or Skype.

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