Today is October 21, 2015 – Back to the Future Day! If you have seen the movies, you may recall that Marty McFly travels to the future in Back to the Future Pt. II. The exact date that he travels to is October 21, 2015. Additionally, 2015 is 30 years after the first Back to the Future movie appeared in theaters. While the movie’s portrayal of 2015 is very different from what we have today, there are many inventions and technologies that exist today that are either comparable or more advanced than what appeared in the movie.
In fact, there are some inventions that we have had for quite some time. For example:
- Bluetooth Headsets / Wearable Tech – much like Doc Brown’s invention in the movies
- Weather App, telling when rain will stop – as seen in Back to the Future
- 3d Billboards / Movie Billboards – as seen in the movie
- Decade-Tribute Restaurants/Diners/Bars – like the 80s cafe seen in the movies
- Handheld Credit Card Processing – quite common these days!
- Digital Traffic Signs, showing estimated delays – these have been around for a long time
- Smart Home Thumbprint Locks – we also have them on our phones!
- Voice Activated Lights – as well as clap-on and clap-off lights
- Projection TV with Multiple Screens / Voice Activated TV – just like future Marty had
- Video Phone Calls / Face Time – just like the memorable scene with Marty in the future
These are just a few. We even have those amazing futuristic Pepsi Perfect bottles from the movie. Later in this article we outline some of our favorite Back to the Future style inventions that also exist today in more detail. However, there are also some inventions seen in Back to the Future Pt. II that we don’t have yet:
- Mr. Fusion – garbage-powered cars would be very cool, no?
- Size-Adjusting / Self-Drying Jacket – one-size-fits all doesn’t really count
- No More Lawyers – we still need those
- Cubs Win World Series – Unfortunately they haven’t won in over 100 years, but they do have a chance at winning this year!
- Hydrated Food / Pizza – We have some similar items and 3D printers have been known to print food, but it’s nowhere near the level of what we saw in Back to the Future Pt. II
We’re hoping to have these inventions soon. Perhaps in 30 years, we will have everything that was seen in the movie. Regardless, we have made major leaps in that direction. Below you will find some of our favorite Back to the Future style inventions that exist today. If you know of any more, let us know in the comments below.
Perhaps the most quintessential example of the future, the idea of flying cars have been on the minds of humans for years. We’ve seen them in many movies, including Back to the Future, The Fifth Element, and many more. Believe it or not, flying cars actually exist! There was a recent story of one of these cars crashing in Slovakia. Don’t let that discourage you from getting your own, however, because you don’t really have a choice. They aren’t attainable for the general public yet. But who knows, maybe in five years?
P.S. The driver of the car involved in the crash is fine, he activated the car’s parachute which slowed the descent and saved his life. It looks like there may be some kinks to work out, but it’s well on its way to being completely functional!
The AeroMobile Flying Car Prototype
Hover Cars, Bikes, and Skateboards
Cars, Bikes, and Skateboards that hover off the ground have been part of science-fiction films and stories for a long time. Much like flying cars, these inventions float off the ground, but act more like cars than like planes. In Back to the Future, the “hoverboard” has become an iconic part of the franchise. Surprisingly, these inventions are not far away from public attainment.
A company in Hungary called the Bay Zoltán Research Institute is working to offer a hovering bicycle-like transportation machine. It has similar technology to a drone, but is much bigger and can carry a human driver. They call this invention a “flike,” which is a combination of “flight” and “bike.” You can see an excellent video from CNN comparing these “flikes” to the speeder bikes from Star Wars. The Bay Zoltán Research Institute is working to make the product available to the public as early as 2016. They will need a flight license to operate at this time.
Hovering skateboards, like the ones seen in Back to the Future are being developed as well. Just check out the above video from Lexus. It looks pretty cool. There is also a hoverboard being developed called the Hendo Hoverboard. Check out a video about that hoverboard on autoblog.com.
Oh, and don’t forget these amazing mini car-like, skateboard things that can fit in your backpack. Cocoa Motors, Inc. is working on finalizing this product and it should be available to the public in the not too distant future. This is definitely worthy of a mention in this post. What an amazing invention!
These were also featured in the Back to the Future movies. Shoes that tighten and fit to the foot at the push of a button. Nike designer, Tinker Hatfield, actually designed the shoe for Back to the Future II (1989) and is currently involved in the redesign and release of the shoe in 2015. There was a limited edition release of Marty McFly’s famous futuristic footwear back in 2011, but I guess they have improved the design and plan on releasing it for the general public. Check out what they look like below.
We’ve seen moving walls in many sci-fi movies and also in real life, but few people have seen them as futuristic as they come. Feast your eyes on what Skyfold can do below. At the click of a button, these walls rise up into the ceiling within minutes, transforming rooms and large spaces. As you can see in this video, they can also contour to stairs in auditoriums as well as many other interesting and creative applications. If you get to see one of these walls in action, you will surely feel like you have traveled to the future.
For more information, visit this page.
Futuristic prosthetics and robotic limbs have been common themes in science fiction for decades. There is mention of robotic enhancements to Biff’s son in Back to the Future Pt. II, for example.The amazing part about the prosthetic in the video below: it can be controlled with simple thoughts as if it were a real arm. The prosthetic reads small muscle movements in the existing tissues to judge what the individual is attempting to do. The fingers on these prosthetic limps are so easily controlled and gentle that they can handle delicate objects such as grapes and eggs. Check out the video below to see for yourself!
Source: The Verge
Bendable Smartphones and Screens
It’s crazy that this actually exists. Screens that can bend and warm without harming or effecting the technology. In fact, they are meant to bend! Samsung has created a phone called the YOUM, which can bend, flex, and has a much higher durability than other smartphones and screens. This kind of technology is amazing. It’s 2015 and most of us can remember a time where smartphones were inconceivable. Even shows like Star Trek had “tricorders” which were not as advanced as smartphones that we have today. Now we have smartphones that can bend! Take a look at the video below and see for yourself.
Drones With Cameras
In movies like Back to the Future Pt. II we see futuristic law enforcement, military, and news broadcasting. With the recent invention of drones, we now have the abilities depicted in so many science fiction films, just like the Back to the Future movies. Drones of today can monitor activities, deliver packages, perform reconnaissance and much more.
Smoke Guard, Smoke and Fire Protection
While Back to the Future II has no mention of multi-story smoke and fire protection for buildings, it is indeed a futuristic invention. Sometimes it’s amazing inventions like these that go unnoticed, but they are often the most important in that they help save lives. For example, Smoke Guard’s smoke and fire curtains help contain smoke and fire in the event of emergency. Therefore, Smoke Guard can prevent suffocation and harm to building inhabitants. Smoke Guard wasn’t around 30 years ago, when the original Back the the Future movie came out, but it was invented by a Doc Brown type of inventive master, named Tom Allen. You can learn more about Smoke Guard on our website or by getting in touch.