Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015 – the day Doc Brown punched into the DeLorean, sending Marty McFly back to the future. In the movie, McFly was traveling 30 years into the future. That future is now.
The sci-fi film trilogy’s second installment, Back to the Future Part II, envisioned a colorful 2015 where fax machines ruled the world, flying cars were commonplace and all the cool kids rode hoverboards. And while we might not be building highways in the sky (yet), the movie did get a couple things right about our world today.
In Back to the Future Part II McFly’s future self is fired on a video call that looks much like Skype or Apple’s FaceTime technology, programs that are used daily by millions of people.
Nike certainly capitalized on the popularity of the Back to the Future franchise, designing shoes that looked like the futuristic ones depicted in the film. But earlier this year, the shoe company announced it was actually working on a pair of self-tying shoes.
Fingerprint recognition is widely used throughout the movie, just like it is in many consumer products today. Many smartphone models use fingerprint scanning to allow users to unlock their phones and even make payments.
At one point in the movie, Marty and Jennifer’s future children completely ignore their parents at the dinner table while they watch movies on futuristic video glasses which look eerily similar to Google Glass. Of course, Glass wasn’t that big of a hit with consumers and is currently being redesigned.
Back to the Future had big dreams for the drone – in the movie, the unmanned aircraft are pictured doing everything from walking dogs, to capturing news footage. Drones are certainly a hot topic in the tech world today and companies are working to do everything from pizza delivery to footage collection of places people can’t go. But people are still walking their dogs the old fashioned way: with their own two feet.
RIGHT (sort of)
One thing Back to the Future nailed is that 2015 is indeed the year of the hoverboard – but they don’t exactly work like McFly’s.
From tech startups, to major car manufactures like Lexus, everyone seems to be creating some sort of “hoverboard” device. The only problem is most of them don’t actually hover – and if they do, it can only be done on special flooring. For example, tech company Arx Pax’s device dubbed “The Hendo” hovers, but it only works for about 15 minutes before it needs recharging and can only operate over metal surfaces. It also has a price tag of US$10,000.
Canadian entrepreneur Darren Pereira’s Huuver company has begun to sell online its brand of self-balancing electric boards called Uuboard, but the device runs on motorized wheels.
Our houses aren’t filled with fax machines
Does anyone even use a fax machine anymore?
WRONG (sort of)
In the movie, everyone gets around in flying cars. Of course, we are nowhere close to having skies filled with sedans, but Boston-based aerospace company Terrafugia is working on technology for a real flying “car” (although it’s still considered a light plane). The Terrafugia TF-X is gasoline-powered, about the size of an SUV and can fold its wings and meet legal requirements for highway driving. The company hopes to deliver a version to customers in 2017, at an anticipated price of $279,000.
WATCH: Watch our extended interview with DeLorean owner Dave Graham in Vancouver, as he explains why he loves these cars and how the public reacts when they see him drive one.