"The tech 'Back to the Future' predicted for 2015 -- and what it missed"
will start after this message from our sponsors.
The tech 'Back to the Future' predicted for 2015 -- and what it missed
It's 2015, and folks, we're living in the future.
But how does the glittering era we currently inhabit compare to our long held benchmark for technological progress?
Back to the Future part two.
The year 2015 as visited by Martie McFly got a lot of things right about today's tech, but in other ways our modern contraptions are way beyond anything we could have imagined back in the 80s.
Here are the tech predictions that Back to the Future got right, and what it missed.
Let's start with something the movie got right, the rise of the smart home.
Marty's future house is absolutely packed with gadgets from flat screen TVs used for video calls.
Hey.>> To fingerprint scanning door locks and voice controls just about everywhere.
It's dangerous to enter without lights on.
Yeah.>> In our own 2015 meanwhile, one of the year's biggest trends has been giving our own home appliances a similar high tech makeover.
A door lock sensed our presence, our thermostats can be set from anywhere, our lights change color, our homes can be viewed remotely while bazaar robots roam our carpets.
Hydrate level four please.
Admittedly modern smart homes still can't cook a pizza in seconds, but there is one more similarity.
Both the McFlys and today's tech-enabled households struggle to make voice control work.
Where's the fruit?
Let me think about that.
Here's what I found on the web, so yeah Siri, where's the fruit?
There is one thing missing from Marty's smart home and it's the biggest problem with the film's vision of the future.
Where's the Internet?
The Internet has been, without a doubt, the greatest tech revolution of the last 25 years.
Offering instant digital communication between devices and putting the sum of human knowledge at our fingertips, but in Marty's 2015, there's no sign that various gadgets are talking to each other.
Indeed, there's not even a hint of email, with fax machines still the primary method of communication.
Fax is one thing, but when it comes to a technology that's been steadily evolving over the last half of the century, fax in the future proves remarkably [UNKNOWN].
Modern television has come a long way since the medium started gaining traction in the middle of the last century, and Back to the Future saw several changes coming.
For one thing, our TVs are flat panels and they're multi-functional, handling all many of apps, including video chat And while we don't tend to watch six channels at once, the modern phenomenon of second screen viewing does divide our attention with IMDB or reactions on Twitter never far from our field of vision.
Speaking of those second screens, one thing nobody in the eighties could have anticipated was the role that mobile gadgets would play in our lives.
The most fly kids of 2015 might have something resembling Google Glass, but it's not as personal or powerful as a modern smartphone.
These goggles are hooked up to a shared telephone line for goodness sake.
Dad, it's for you.
And speaking of personal texts, where are all the social networks?
If Marty Jr.
had really wanted to avoid Griff and his gang, he could have just checked his Instagram.
Let's talk about entertainment, an area in which Back to the Future made some very solid predictions, indeed.
Take young Elijah Wood's disgust that 80s gaming involved using your hands, and then consider motion-based advances such as Microsoft's Kinect or the Oculus Rift.
And while we're not watching Jaws 19 in holomax, The modern cinema landscape is dominated by sequels and franchises.
Man the DeLorean is cool, and indeed Back to the Future did make some great predictions about innovation in the automotive industry, it just didn't quite guess where that innovation was happening.
Our future lacks commercially available flying vehicles, but we've got self-driving cars looming on the horizon.
And fully electric cars are rapidly gaining traction, which is pretty darn cool.
So forget that while the DeLorean's time circuits are powered by the trash-consuming Mr. Fusion, the car itself still ran on gasoline.
Chalk one up for the nonfictional timeline.
So all things considered, how accurate was Back to the Future?
Well, bearing in mind the makers of the movie were probably more concerned with making an entertaining film than playing Nostradamus, a lot of it is pretty spot on.
I mean, apart from the hoverboard of course.
Which let's be honest, is the only thing that any of us really wanted.
[SOUND] Of course it's always possible that much of the tech that Back to the Future did predict exists precisely because it was in the film, offering humanity a glittering vision of what to aim for.
In fact, it's almost as if the film itself was a message sent back from the future to our past self, creating multiple technological timelines
This is heavy.
What do you fancy doing now?
Attend a rhythmic ceremonial ritual?