Be on the lookout for Marty McFly on Wednesday, as Oct. 21, 2015, is the date that Marty and Doc traveled to in 1989’s Back to the Future Part II.
The 2015 depicted in the film surprisingly made many correct predictions about the actual 2015, while it was way off base on other things. And then there’s the whole “Chicago Cubs winning the World Series” prediction — a feat that won’t be decided by the end of the day Wednesday.
In celebration of Back to the Future Day, here are three things that the movie got right.
- VIDEO CALLS
While it’s not exactly the same, Back to the Future Part II did correctly predict the prevalence of video calls. It’s common now for people to Skype, FaceTime and otherwise video chat with each other, with a caller ID displaying a name or username and usually a photo too.
- NON-MILITARY DRONES
In Back to the Future Part II, newspaper USA Today sends a drone to take a photo for the newspaper when Griff Tannen and his cronies crash into the courthouse and get arrested. More journalists are using drones for their work and any person can purchase a drone (though they can cost a pretty penny). They aren’t commonly used yet, but non-military drones are growing in popularity.
- WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY
Several characters in Back to the Future Part II put on glasses at some point that can take pictures or access some sort of information database, much like Google Glass or Facebook’s Oculus VR headset. Like drones, high-tech glasses aren’t super popular — while the technology exists, it’s not wildly available and it’s expensive — but other high-tech wearables are. Fitness trackers, Apple Watches and bluetooth headsets are all versions of wearable technology comparable to the glasses seen in Back to the Future Part II.
So what DIDN’T the movie get right?
Marty gets fired in Back to the Future Part II via a fax machine — one of several in the McFly home. USA Today is delivered as a thick sheaf. An antiques store advertises “dust-repellant paper.” The 2015 we live in depends a lot less on paper because of the Internet, email, social media and cell phones. While of course filmmakers in 1989 couldn’t have predicted the rise of the Internet and other technology that uses it, the absence in the film is definitely noticeable.
WHAT TECHNOLOGY IN BACK TO THE FUTURE II DO YOU WISH ACTUALLY EXISTED?