Archive for October, 2015

Back to the Future Part 2 – Predictions, Hit or Miss

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

In honor of the recent Oct 21, 2105 "Back to the Future Day" I have started to re-watch the trilogy with my daughters.  It is their first time seeing it.  I guess I underestimated how difficult it might be for a 4 year old just starting to master the concepts of yesterday and tomorrow to comprehend multi-timeline time travel, but both she and my 7 year old are have enjoyed parts 1 and 2 so far.

image

I have seen some lists of BttF’s 2015 predictions, but sitting there watching the movie I wrote the following list (roughly in order they appear in the movie), which I believe to be more comprehensive than I have found elsewhere.

Prediction Hit or Miss Notes
Bar Code License Plates Miss  
Sleep Inducing Alpha Rhythm Generator Miss  
Weather control Miss  
Self adjusting jacket Miss  
Self tying laces Miss  
"Caution Silicone" – label on boxes in alley Miss well… there was a flap over silicone breast implants, but the MSDS shows it to be still be mostly harmless
$50 for a Pepsi Miss  
Flying Cars/ Freeways in the sky Miss  
Personal inter-continental transportation Miss The sky-way sign shows London as a destination
Personal fusion power Miss  
Doc’s opaque metal goggles Miss Could be considered "hit" if you charitably assumed these are augmented reality lenses of some sort
Nostalgia Café for the 80s Hit We had these circa 2000, not sure if they are still around
Fashion Miss (mostly) Rainbow hat (Marty Jr)
Face tats (Biff’s gang)
Two ties (older Marty)
Broad shoulders, metallic material, etc.
USA Today logo Miss  
2 hour justice / eliminated all lawyers Miss  
Youth treatments (that have no discernable effect) Hit Although I have not heard of doing blood transfusions
Bionic implants (Griff) Miss Not counting surgical joint replacement here
Holographic ads Miss We have something, but nothing like the Jaws ad
Holomax theater Miss No credit for 3-D movies – they had those in the 50s in some form
Hover boards Miss  
Automated gas station Miss  
05 Second Service “Pac Fax” (on US Mail box) Miss I could give credit her for email, but this is something involving a physical mailbox
Pepsi logo Miss  
Pepsi bottle Miss Crazy wide-top design
Video games do not use hands Hit The kids in the café scoff that Marty uses his hands to play the video game
Video games with hands are considered "children’s toys" Miss not yet…
Auto-drying clothes Miss  
Cashless payment on a tablet (save the clock tower, taxi) Hit  
Books on "vinyl paper" Miss They totally missed the advent of eBooks
Drone camera (USA Today reporter drone) Partial Yes to the camera, not to it being used for news reports (apparently autonomously) yet
Autonomous Drone trash cans Miss  
Thumbprint to assess ID (biometrics) Hit  
Scrolling LED Name Tags on Hats Miss As the police had
Surf Vietnam Partial Not necessarily a "destination", but there is some chatter on surfing Vietnam on the web
Suspended Animation Kennel Miss  
"Tranks lobos, and zipheads" (slang used by the Police) Miss  
Home automation "lights on" Hit  
Scene screen (using actual window-shade like screen) Miss  
Flat screen monitor in house Hit  
No doorknob on door – biometrics only Miss not commonly used for home
Food Hydrators / de-hydrated food Miss  
100s of channels Hit But we had this by the 90s, so not a bold prediction
Drone for walking dog Miss  
Voice commands Hit And they still do not work well: "Fruit PLEASE"
Wearable Tech (Goggles on Marty Jr and Marty’s daughter) Hit  
Video 2-way communication Hit  
Fax still popular Miss  

So that is 11 out of 47, or 23%

Even so, it does not really look like our reality.  It is crazy to think that the 80s are as distant in the past to us, as the 50s were to the folks who first watched BttF in the theaters.