Happy Back to The Future Day
You don’t have to be Marty McFly or Doc Brown to know that October 21, 2015 represents a major milestone for both tech enthusiasts and film buffs. For 25 years, fans of the Back to the Future movies have been waiting to travel to this moment in time – the same moment that McFly traveled to via DeLorean to save his future children.
While real-life 2015 didn’t pan out exactly as Back to the Future II depicted, many of the technologies in Marty McFly’s future time-travels have indeed become a reality.
1. Virtual Reality
Seeing Michael J. Fox don a pair of virtual reality glasses may have felt far-fetched in the 80s, but today, virtual reality and augmented reality have become important technologies across many industries, including: real estate, medicine and education.
2. Video Chat
Gone are the days when digital communication applied only to e-mail. Video conferencing through programs like FaceTime, Skype and Google Hangouts has become the standard for both consumer and enterprise communication.
3. Tablet Computing
The 1980s was the decade of the home computer, with companies like Microsoft and Apple making great strides in personal computing. McFly took the concept further in his 2015 travels, where we see the first instance of tablets.
Like their bigger counterparts, tablets have revolutionized computing, allowing people to communicate and work at ease while on-the-go.
4. Hands-Free Gaming
While many might feel nostalgic about the gaming consoles of the 80s, there’s no doubt that McFly’s hands-free experience in 2015 was innovative.
Today’s gamers have many hands-free options at their disposal, including Nintendo Wii, Xbox Kinect, and Playstation Move. All of these consoles use motion-sense and other technologies to enable players to immerse themselves deeper into games without the need for controllers or joysticks.
5. Wearable Technology
While Nike did indeed make the fancy self-lacing shoes that were a gift from Doc Brown to Marty McFly to pay homage to the film, those weren’t the only wearables that were present in the movie.
6. Hover Cameras
The hovercams –robotic cameras that were able to fly — depicted in the 2015 depicted in Back to the Future Part II are close cousins to the camera-mounted drones that have become increasingly popular among consumers in the last few years.
7. Fueling Robot
While Texaco didn’t exactly create the fueling robot seen in the movie, robotics continue to find their way into an increasing number of common applications, and play a significant role in industries like education and medicine.
8. Flat Panel TVs
Back to the Future Part II’s flat-panel TVs had voice recognition capabilities, which is one of the current trends in consumer technology, including smart TVs with voice control remotes and voice assistant gadgets like Amazon’s Alexa, iOs’ Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana.
9. Biometric Payment
We appreciate the appearance of fingerprint payments in Back to the Future Part II, and we’re grateful for the way companies like Apple have made it a real thing for consumers with Touch ID for Apple Pay authentication.
Marty McFly set the standard for cool transport with his hoverboard in the Back to the Future series, and it only took 25 years for Lexus and Kickstarter-backed Hendo to make levitated transportation real.
A hologram shark might not be entirely practical, but the entertainment industry has pioneered holographic technology, using it to give life to deceased artists including Michael Jackson and Tupac.
12. Biometric Security
Like biometric payments, biometric security measures like those from Back to the Future II have long been used in enterprise security, and have since rolled out to consumers through fingerprint scanning on smartphones and tablets.