"Back to the Future" movie trilogy. The highest grossing film of 1985 has gone on to become a cultural phenomenon. In December 2007, the film was added to the U.S. National Film Registry as one of 25 films considered, to be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" 1to American culture.
"Back to the Future," produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Robert Zemeckis, portrays a young Marty McFly and his mad professor side-kick Doc Brown as they travel in time from 1985 to Wednesday, October 21, 2015, to save McFly's son from being imprisoned . As you can imagine from the time-traveling aspect of the story, the America where they arrive is quite a bit different from America of 1985. But how different is that imagined 2015 from the real October 21, 2015?
Here is a list of some of the techno things the movie trilogy correctly predicted. You may be surprised by them.
Communication Eye Glasses - Sitting around their future 2015 kitchen table, the McFly kids wear their computerized glasses and multi-task eating with checking their messages and watching videos. The movie writers were very close to the mark in that we briefly had Google Glasses, which, at a retail value of $1240, never quite caught on. But the main reason the glasses didn't go over with the public was the abundance of smartphones and smartwatches (which the writers either didn't see coming or felt would have been cliche due to old Dick Tracy cartoons).
Tablet Computers - in one scene Marty McFly signs a petition and makes a contribution to the town's "Save Our Clock" movement. He does it on a small tablet computer. In another scene, a policeman is seen checking his tablet while questioning a suspect. This idea did come to life with the first "iPad" hitting the shelves in 2010. Since then, the iPad brand alone has sold 100 million sold between its release and mid-October 2012, Now there are tablet computer products from a myriad of manufacturers to compete with the iPad ranging in price from $149 to $699.
Video Conferencing - Though it has been available to the public since 2004 with the introduction of mass-market VoIP services, video calling just hasn't taken off in the private sector. The VOIP ("voice over IP") technology is built into nearly all iPhones, smart phones, iPads, tablet computers, and even desktop computers. Although glorified in sci-fi movies and TV shows for decades, the majority of personal users have opted to go "Back in Time" themselves and use their keypads to "text" over using the video cameras and microphones built right into their devices. From a business standpoint, VOIP hasn't been profitable for its providers. From a more human perspective, maybe we don't want the boss to see that we are wearing our golf clothes when we call off sick from work, or maybe we don't want people to see us as we look before getting all spruced up for the camera.
Hands-Free Gaming Systems - In the movie's 2015 world, Marty McFly tries his hand at a vintage arcade gun-fighter game. He puzzles two young kids who just played by asking "Where do you put in the quarter?" to which they reply "What's a quarter?" Marty finds the gun controller, racks up a perfect score, and then turns to the kids for their approval. The kids instead ridicule him saying, "You used your hands!"
As of today in real 2015, Marty will no longer need to use his hands. Microsoft, the maker of the 360 gaming station; unveiled its hands-free, motion-sensing technology. How appropriate for Microsoft to do so not only on "Back to the Future Day", but to go one step further and to enlist Steven Spielberg, the movie's original producer, to help in the presentation. Spielberg, who also creates video games, and Microsoft are targeting the 60% of households that don't own a gaming console. Spielberg says that the innovation will "make the technology invisible."
So while we still have to wait for the flying cars, tennis shoes that tie themselves, clothes that dry themselves, time-traveling DeLoreans, and hoverboards that work on any surface; real 2015 isn't that far off the mark from the one in the movie. But don't take our word for it. Get the family together, make some popcorn, and get ready for a great time. Rent or download the movie trilogy and enjoy your October 21, 2015!