When “Back to the Future” first hit the silver screen in 1985, it took audiences on a thrilling ride through time, mixing science fiction with humor and adventure. Little did the creators of the film, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, know that their vision of the future, set in 2015, would be examined and compared to the real 2023, almost four decades later. While we’re still waiting for hoverboards and flying cars, there are some eerie similarities between the movie’s portrayal of 2015 and the world we live in today.
The film introduced us to the concept of wearable technology, with Marty’s son wearing a pair of smart glasses during the 2015 sequence. Today, we have smartwatches, augmented reality glasses, and other wearable devices that can provide information at our fingertips. While we haven’t quite reached the level of sophistication seen in the movie, it’s clear that “Back to the Future” was ahead of its time in predicting the direction of technology.
In the movie, Marty is easily identified by a retinal scan at his home in 2015. Today, we commonly use biometric technology for security and identification purposes, such as fingerprint and facial recognition on our smartphones. While we might not be using retinal scans at home just yet, biometric authentication is certainly a reality in our lives.
Remember Marty’s self-lacing Nike sneakers in the movie? Well, they’re no longer a thing of the future. Nike actually released a limited edition of self-lacing shoes in 2016, known as the Nike Mag, inspired by the film. Though they aren’t widely available yet, the fact that they exist at all is a testament to the movie’s accurate predictions.
Drones and Flying Cameras
The movie featured a drone-like device capturing the arrest of Biff Tannen. In 2023, drones are everywhere, from capturing stunning aerial shots in film and photography to being used in various industries for inspections and deliveries. While they might not be as comical as the movie’s version, the prediction of drones being a part of our everyday lives was quite accurate.
“Back to the Future” showcased flat-screen televisions as commonplace in homes, a far cry from the bulky CRT televisions of the 1980s. By 2023, flat-screen TVs have become the standard, with sleek designs and advanced display technology. The film’s vision of home entertainment has certainly become a reality.
Video Calls and Communication
In “Back to the Future Part II,” Marty McFly encounters a future in which video calls are the norm. Fast forward to 2023, and video calls are not only commonplace, but they’re also an essential part of our daily lives. Thanks to technology like Zoom and FaceTime, we can easily communicate with anyone around the world through video calls, just as the film predicted.
Video Games Without Controllers
Marty McFly Jr. plays a video game in the movie without using a controller. In reality, technology has evolved to include gesture-based and motion-sensing gaming systems like the Xbox Kinect and PlayStation Move, where players can interact with games using their own movements. While we may not be at the level of gaming seen in the film, the concept of controller-free gaming is certainly present.
“Back to the Future” showed holographic advertisements and entertainment in the town square of Hill Valley. In our world today, we’ve seen holographic displays used in marketing and entertainment, albeit on a smaller scale. The concept of holographic advertising is slowly becoming a reality.
“Back to the Future” featured voice-activated devices that respond to vocal commands. Today, we have virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant that can answer questions, control smart home devices, and perform various tasks through voice commands. The film’s portrayal of voice-activated technology was remarkably prescient.
In the movie, Marty uses his thumbprint to make a payment at a Café 80s. In 2023, biometric payment methods like Apple Pay and fingerprint authentication are increasingly common, making transactions quicker and more secure. The film’s prediction of biometric payment was not too far from reality.
While “Back to the Future” made some impressive predictions, it’s essential to remember that it’s still a work of science fiction, and not everything portrayed in the film has come to pass. We’re not zipping around in flying cars, and hoverboards are still not a mode of transportation. The movie’s depiction of time travel remains firmly in the realm of fantasy.
Nonetheless, the film’s vision of 2015, as seen from the perspective of 1985, was remarkably accurate in predicting certain technological advancements that have become an integral part of our lives in 2023. It’s a testament to the creativity and foresight of the filmmakers, who, in their quest to entertain and amaze, inadvertently offered a glimpse into the future.
“Back to the Future” may not have been entirely accurate in predicting 2015 or 2023, but it undeniably got many things right when it comes to technological advancements. As we continue to make strides in the world of technology, it’s fascinating to look back at a movie that, in its own quirky way, provided a window into the future. So, prepare to be amazed at how ‘Back to the Future’ predicted 2023 with surprising accuracy and continues to capture our imaginations. Who knows what other aspects of the film’s vision might become reality in the years to come?
Last modified: October 28, 2023