'Back to the Future' tech in real life (pictures)
If you're a "Back to the Future" fan, then Wednesday is a big day. It marks the day Marty McFly arrived in the future in the 1989 sequel.
Marty jumps out of the Doc Brown's DeLorean into the future on October 21, 2015. The movie is filled with flying cars, hoverboards and smart-home technology. It's not a mirror image of the world we live in today, but it does manage to get quite a bit of our current technology right.
Here's a look at 2015 tech in "Back to the Future Part II" and where it stands in real life.
The Mattel hoverboard
The hoverboard is one of the most iconic pieces of tech in "Back to the Future Part II." Marty outmaneuvers Griff and his gang on a bright pink Mattel hoverboard he takes from a little girl.
A Lexus hoverboard
In real life, your hoverboard options are limited. Lexus built a hoverboard that relies on magnets and liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors, but it only works on a custom surface in Barcelona, Spain. There's the Hendo hoverboard, but it too requires a special surface. You can also craft your own hoverboard using leaf blowers, plywood and some everyday tools.
"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads," says Doc Brown. In the movie, flying cars have taken over by 2015. Highways have been replaced by "skyways," and hover conversion kits, which turn regular road cars into flying cars, are available for $39,999.95.
Pay with your thumb
Nobody carries cash in the future. Instead, thumbprints are used to complete transactions. In "Back to the Future Part II," Marty is asked to "thumb a hundred bucks" to help save the clock tower.
"Back to the Future II" nailed the idea that people would ditch wallets full of cash and credit cards, and instead opt for forms of mobile payment. Apple Pay and Samsung Pay both let you use a fingerprint to pay for items using your smartphone. Smartphone payments at retailers are expected to surge to $118 billion by 2018, according to market researcher eMarketer.
Both of Marty's future children sport a pair of video glasses at the dinner table. These high-tech specs apparently let them watch TV and make phone calls.
In real life, the high-tech glasses imagined in "Back to the Future Part II" could be just a few years away. The first major wave of virtual reality headsets, including the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Gear VR, will be available to consumers by early next year. Microsoft is expected to release a version of its HoloLens, which projects 3D images in front of your eyes and overlays them on real-world environments, for software developers in 2016. Google stopped selling its controversial Glass eyewear in January but is reportedly working on a new version.
"No one calls me chicken," the grown-up Marty McFly declared during a video call on his TV. He agreed to help his co-worker Needles with some type of money-making scheme. Unfortunately, the next video call to pop up on the TV is from McFly's boss.
Primed for video calls
Modern televisions are more than capable of handling video calls. Some high-end TVs even come with built-in cameras. Otherwise, you must purchase a special TV camera that is compatible with your specific make and model. Hopefully, unlike Marty, your video calls don't involve getting fired.
More thumb tech
Instead of using keys, the front door to Marty McFly's future home in "Back to the Future Part II" is unlocked with a thumbprint.
Siri-powered smart lock
Kitchen of the future
There's nothing like a slice of fresh, hot pizza right out of the hydrator.