So… there’s probably loads of different things you could discuss about Back To The Future today, but by far the most popular topic will be… the technology.
I was 6 years old when the first film came out and like anyone my age, the impact the film had on the imagination, many playground reenactments ensued, everyone loved it.. especially the DeLorean!
I was 10 when Back To The Future 2 came out, the same year as many films I still watch regularly and consider total classics… Tim Burton’s Batman, The Wizard, Turner & Hooch, The Burb’s, Uncle Buck, Parenthood, Ghostbusters 2, Lethal Weapon 2, The Abyss … what the hell!?
I love all those movies, but Back To The Future 2 was different, it painted (in a way that is simply impossible to replicate in 2015) a vision of the future that had you wishing you were in it! The film is one of the few that has the accolade of being even better than the prequel, and for the first time (well for me anyway) you got to experience watching a sequel which went back and interacted with the original film… mind blowing!
I know that the 10 year old me thought how far away 2015 seemed, like… it might as well be a thousand years in the future and it seemed so far away that the prospect of flying cars and a fax machine in every room was plausible! As we all know, beside how brilliant the film was it aimed a little too high with some tech, and a little too low with others.
So here we are, October 21st 2015, the date Doc and Marty arrive in the future, naturally I’m going to make lists of tech the film got right, wrong and even missed.
Things we don’t have yet…
1 – Hoverboards.
The obvious one to start with. This is actually a ‘kind of…’ it would seem we’re still a long way off an actual hover board that works just like in the film (but not on water, unless you have power) but believe it or not, hover boards actually exist. You just need to be on a special track at the moment!
2 – Flying Cars.
3 – Self drying clothes.
Wearable tech is becoming ‘a thing’ now so, maybe soon! I liked that jacket even without the fancy stuff.
4 – Re-hydrating food machines.
5 – Double neck tie.
6 – A droid to walk the dog
7 – Power Laces
8 – That floating bad back thing.
Things they got right…
1 - “Thumb a hundred bux willya kid?” - only the other day i used my thumb print to pay for a roll n bacon and a coffee in Greggs.
2 - “Lights on” - Voice activated smart home stuff has now been about for a while, and now that Apple has launched HomeKit, its only a matter of time before millions of us are using SIRI to turn on the lights. The lights in my house are on remote controls, and i got them for a tenner in B&M bargains down Shawlands.
3 - Control your giant TV with your voice - Amazon Fire stick, and the new Apple TV both use voice control to search and watch.
4 - Fax machines everywhere - so, technically, they did get that right because faxing became very cheap and accessible, however, in 2015, very few people have a fax machine at home, nevermind one in every room and cupboard!
5 - 3D movies - not quite up to Jaws 19 but 3D movies are pretty common now, not holographic but still.
6 - Drones - surveillance drones are nothing new now, so like the press drone sent to get the ‘live at the scene’ pic, they could be used for that right now.
7 - Pepsi - yep, thats still here.
8 - TV Glasses. Ive never used them but a guy I used to work with had a pair, he said they were brilliant.
9 - video phone calls. remember how crazy an idea that was? you’ve been able to do it for like 12 years now. The novelty has even worn off.
Things they missed…
1 - It’s a big one. The Internet. Can’t hold that against them though, although amazingly… the World Wide Web was also created in 1989.
2 - Mobile / Tablet. Thankfully they never saw that coming, think how that would have messed with the plot! The Almanac wouldn’t have been a book, it would have been an App, and young Biff in 1955 might not have been able to cheat because there would be no cellular signal. Film ruined.
3 - HD flat screen TV’s. they had kinda crappy looking projectors.
4 - One Direction. If only they could have warned us about that nonsense.