The day that seemed an eternity away for millennial kids way back in 1989 is actually here. October 21st, 2015 was the day Doc and Marty McFly arrived in the future in Back to the Future II. The classic film made a plethora of technology predictions for the future, which is now officially the present.
Tragically, we are all still anxiously awaiting our hoverboards (that don’t require a metal surface). However, the movie did predict a few of our current technologies fairly accurately.
Video Phones: Video phones or video calling has been around for quite some time now. It is hard to imagine that there could be a millennial in any technologically-advanced nation who hasn’t used some type of video call, from Skype to Tango. With the rise of remote employment, video conference calling is an essential platform in our current technology and its use will only continue to increase.
Drones: Drones have become an increasingly hot technology over the last few years. So much, in fact, that federal law regarding the use of drones has not been able to keep up with the growing consumption of them. Beyond hobbyists, drones are used by news stations, package delivery companies and there is even a company in San Francisco that will deliver tacos via drone.
Wearable Tech and Smart Glasses: Google Glass, smart watches and Fitbit, oh my! In 2015, talking to our accessories is a fairly common sight to be seen.
Fingerprint-based Locks: Fingerprint–based locks aren’t widely used just yet, although they are available for houses and cars. Fingerprint recognition technology is however used much more commonly on cell phones. There is a lot of potential for this technology to eventually be used frequently in other areas.
Multi-screen and Voice-activated Television: Picture-in-picture technology allows us to now view multiple shows at once. Thanks to AppleTV, we are able to control our televisions via voice command. Comcast’s Xfinity X1 is currently following suit in that arena.
Hands-free Gaming: In 2006, Nintendo made the first major step towards hands-free gaming with the release of the Wii. Then in 2010, Microsoft gave us the Xbox Kinect, actual hands-free gaming. Currently there is technology in the works for video games that can be played solely via eye movement.
Bonus Non-Tech Prediction:
The Cubs Win the World Series: Still in progress and remaining to be seen, Back to the Future II predicted that the Chicago Cubs win the 2015 World Series, ending their 107-year-old championship drought. Fascinatingly, as of this writing, the Chicago Cubs are currently fighting for the league championship that will catapult the team into the World Series, which they haven’t appeared in since 1945. Additionally, in the 1989 movie, the Cubs won the World Series against a Major League Baseball team from Miami, which didn’t actually exist until 1991.
Back to the Future II got it right in a few areas, but missed the mark in others. Particularly on how intertwined the internet and social media are in our daily lives. We all continue to hold onto hope though that a practical hoverboard is in the near future.