Back To The Future - what it got right...and wrong

From hoverboards to smart-glasses, what was accurately predicted when Back to the Future’s Marty McFly famously landed his time machine in 2015?

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 21st October 2015, 12:56 pm

October 21 2015 marks ‘Back to the Future Day’, the date Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) and Doctor ‘Doc’ Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) landed in the future from the 1980s time-travel film sequel.

In 1989’s Back to the Future Part II sequel to the original 1985 sci-fi comedy classic, time travellers Marty and Doc go forward from to a futuristic 2015.

The exact time that Marty travels in Doc’s flying DeLorean into the future is 4.29pm on October 21 2015.

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Film fans around the world will mark the event which has become known as Back to the Future Day.

And did you know, Elijah Wood, made his film debut in “Back to the Future Part II?

But what did Back to the Future get right about ‘the future’?:

So what did the movie predict right about 2015 and what did it get wrong?

We’ve taken a fun look at what producer Steven Spielberg correctly predicted about how we’d be living our lives today - and what he missed out on.

Back To The Future predicted that keys would be a thing of the past - and indeed, many homes nowadays are controlled by smart locks, fingerprint technology and codes - and you can even use your smartphone to gain access to your property.

The same scene in the movie also shows video calling - and of course, apps such as Skype and FaceTime have made that a reality and not just a 1980s pipedream. Now seeing someone while you talk to them is commonplace.

In 2015, Marty keeps in touch with what’s going on by picking up a newspaper. And while many of us now rely on the web and smartphones to be kept abreast of current affairs, there’s still a place for the humble newspaper.

The movie also showcases high-tech goggles - and while we’re not all quite seeing life through lasers lenses yet, hi-tech products such as Google Glass are now starting to mark a splash in the marketplace.

Gaming plays a big role in Back To The Future. Marty loves a gun game at his local arcade, which he later spots in the film’s version of 2015.

He’s still a “crack shot” at the game, but the futurekids ridicule him for having to use his hands while he plays.

In 2015, we do have games you can play without your hands thanks to neural headsets, but they’re still a little in the production phase. What the film did get right is that we still have a love of retro gaming in 2015 with Pac Man, Space Invaders and the recent movie Pixels proving there’s still an old skool market out there.

Marty stumbles around Hill Valley at the start of the film, bewildered by the future. While there, he’s “eaten” by a 3D shark that pops out of a cinema hoarding.

And of course, seeing a movie in 3D, armed with your Roy Orbison style glasses, is now very much in vogue - in fact, you don’t even have to go to the cinema to do so either, just sit back in your own home and let the action unfold before your eyes.

However, there are just as many things that haven’t materialised as those that did.

The biggest miss was flying cars, a staple of every future world and time travel flick - but we’re still waiting - and it doesn’t seem like they will be here anytime soon.

And self-adjusting clothes are a no-no either. Marty’s jacket from BTTF2 automatically resizes to fit him - but if you want a snugger fitting jacket or pair of trousers, then the only way is still to drop into your local neighbourhood tailor.

Oh and there’s no such thing as self-tying laces either - although Nike boffins have produced a pair to tie in with the anniversary date, in much the same way that smart-thinking Pepsi bosses have dreamed up special promotional bottles of Pepsi Perfect, the drink quaffed by Marty in the movie.Which brings us to the big one, the one facet of BTTF that everyone seems to recall - and which everyone wanted by 2015.

Sadly, hoverboards, as much as we might want them, are not really a thing that, excuse the pun, have taken off.

In the film, we see Marty steal a hoverboard from a small girl on the street. It works everywhere except on water.

In the real 2015, hoverboards have yet to properly appear and the “real” ones only work on magnetic surfaces.

Lexus has a “hoverboard” that actually hovers, but it needs magnets and a whole lot of coolant to work. Skateboard guru Tony Hawk has tested a “hoverboard”, but it’s really just a tiny take on a traditional hovercraft. You’ll also see reports of so-called “hoverboards” in the media this year to capitalise on the BTTF hype, but those are just handle-free Segways.

Will we have to wait another thirty years to see them? Make sure you jump aboard your hoverboard and whizz forward to 2045 when no doubt this paper will be beamed directly into your brain to find out!