The Back to the Future film franchise made some bold predictions on how they thought the world would look in 2015. When Marty McFly travels from the ‘80s to the 2010s, we learn of just how optimistic the writers of the movies thought science would progress in that time. Even though they were wildly off with some predictions (we’re still waiting for flying cars), they did hit some right on the head. These are the inventions from Back to the Future that actually came true.
Yes, those cool self-lacing sneakers that Marty puts on when he arrived in 2015 were actually made by Nike. Although they didn’t make them of their own accord, there was such a huge demand for the retailer to bring the iconic movie sneaker to consumers for Back to the Future Day, on October 21, 2015. Nike listened to the pressure and brought out the self-lacing trainers, fully equipped with lights and the retro ‘80s look. As expected there were lines right around the block of eager sneaker-loving film buffs, trying to get their hands on a pair.
When Marty runs into a guy at the old clock tower, he notices that he appears to be using some kind of handheld computer. If you skip to the modern day, that invention looks incredibly similar to our tablets. In Back to the Future, the device had the same basic principle that our modern-day tablets use, which allows us to question whether the writers didn’t really travel forward in time to scout for cool gadgets.
One scene in Back to the Future II that echoed one from the first movie was when Marty was running from Biff and his goons. In the present, Marty is an expert skateboarder but is surprised when he hijacks a child’s board to learn that it hovers. This was one of the most iconic inventions from the movie, and for 30 years kids were desperate for this invention to become a reality. We now have hoverboards, although they aren’t exactly how we saw them in the movie. Our hoverboards have wheels, but they basically work the same, and you just stand on them and let the board do all the work. In recent years a Russian team of engineers have actually invented boards that fully hover. They don’t travel very fast, but the technology is definitely here!
Take a look at your smartphone, because they weren’t always so sophisticated and complex. Not that long ago, cell phones were fairly basic, allowing users just to make calls and send texts, but now they are capable of pretty much anything. Back to the Future predicted that we would be using phones to conference face to face rather than ear to ear. Now we have FaceTime and Skype to allow us to video call our friends and family no matter whereabouts in the world they are.
Several times during the Back to the Future scenes in 2015, we see the characters using their fingerprints to open doors and pay for stuff. 30 years later and we now use our fingerprints to gain access to our phones. In the near future who knows what we’ll be able to use our fingerprints for; they might even end up being the keys to our cars!
When Marty entered an ‘80s style cafe in 2015, he discovers an old arcade machine that he was a pro at. When two young future children discovered the arcade machine, they were horrified that they would have to use their hands to play it, claiming that was like a child’s toy. Back to the Future predicted we would be gaming hands-free and thanks to several gaming tools we do. The Xbox Kinect was a perfect example of hands-free gaming where users could stand in their home using nothing but their body to interact with their games. Once again Back to the Future was ahead of its time!
Although Back to the Future got a few things right, we’re sad they didn’t predict everything. As much as we would love to be sitting in a flying car, we’re just sad about the little things like the crazy fashion and holographic advertising. We’re sure one day all of Back to the Future’s inventions will become a reality, we just hope we aren’t too old to appreciate them when they do.