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Back to the Future Day: What the movie got right

Wednesday, October 21, 2015, marks the date that Doc Brown and Marty McFly, along with the unsuspecting Jennifer, travelled into the future to save Marty’s existence.

Released in 1989, Back to the Future II is a movie that is equally loved and criticised.

Loved as the epic story of a teen and his inventor friend who travel through time, altering the course of history in a DeLorean DMC-12, thanks to plutonium, Mr. Fusion and the Flux Capacitor, while attempting to not further damage the space-time continuum.

Hated for the number of futuristic technological developments and historical premonitions that haven’t yet featured in the future as we know it.

We list some of the many “Nostradamus-like” predictions and see how they stack up to what we have today.

Things they got wrong:

Flying cars: As amazing as this would be, the automotive industry has yet to develop flying cars. Imagine these sky-high motorways existing through Auckland Central. Sadly this hasn’t come to fruition on the scale the movie predicted. Although, there have been flying cars invented, the world is not as suggested in the film quite yet.

Exercycle cafes: Imagine this travesty. You are trying to enjoy your morning coffee while the guy next to you is cycling his way to fitness and health. Let’s hope they continue to keep gyms and cafes as separate as possible.

Self-lacing shoes: Oh, the dream! But not quite. Nike has yet to release a shoe that self-ties your shoe laces. Although they did create a replica high top edition of the Back to the Future Nikes. Nike is reportedly still working on this development.

Rejuvenation clinics: How the world would be a better-looking place if these clinics existed. A place where your face would be rejuvenated in the constant battle against father time and mother wrinkle. But alas they don’t. We will just have to continue to have a barrage of cream products advertised down our throats.

Pepsi perfect: Such a product is yet to exist. In fact, does Pepsi even still exist?

Hoverboards: The big one! Yes, in recent times versions of hoverboards have been invented, but much like the flying vehicle issue, they do not use the same technology and are not widely used or recognised around the world. Sorry 2015, you may just have to wait even longer for the hoverboard revolution.

Things they got right:

3D: That image of Marty cowering as he is about to be eaten by the giant Jaws 3D promotional image was quite forward-thinking for 1985. However today, everything is available in 3D.

Video communication technology: FaceTime, Skype, SnapChat… need I say anymore.

Flat screen TVs: The advancements in entertainment equipment is so far ahead of even where the movie thought we would be by now. Almost every home in the western world has a flat screen TV with unbelievable image standards, far superior to those in the movie.

Biometric identification: The iPhone and Samsung phones have used biometric identification for many years on their phones as have many computer developers. However, in the future, using your fingerprint will not be just exclusively developed to unlock your mobile phones. There are even developments in being able to use your heartbeat to open your car door when it knows you are near.

Drones: It seems now anyone can buy a drone and potentially endanger the lives of those in the commercial aircraft industry. This is one prediction the movie definitely got right.

Holographic imaging: Sharks aren’t the only things popping up in the holographic world of today. From resurrecting music artists to car design presentations, holographs have been around for a while and are sure to develop more in the future.

The Robert Zemeckis movie classic didn’t do too badly after all, with a 50 percent success rate by our counting. But what it has done well is entertain millions over many years, and am sure it will do for many more to come.

It’s important to note that due to the DeLorean being developed in the storyline in 1985, time travel is not included. But would we even know if it was not for fear of damaging the space-time continuum?

Dan Mcleod
is an Auckland native with an interest in Sport, Politics, Maori History and Entertainment. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcLeodNZ or
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