Future Day is here: the date Marty McFly traveled to inBack to the Future Part II.Die-hard Future fans have been waiting for this day for years — they were so eager, in fact, that many mistakenly celebrated the wrong Future Day a few years back.
But today, October 21st, 2015, is the real deal, and all day long we’ll have an excuse to be distracted by a decades-old movie trilogy in favor of paying attention to what’s actually going on in the world. And of course, compare the real world we live in to the future world screenwriter Bob Gale created 25 years ago (the movie was released in 1989, but set in 1985.) So did Back to the Future Part II get ahead of itself in predicting technological advancements? In some cases, yes — we don’t have flying cars or robot waiters (yet), but it others, it was spot on:
They didn’t call it Google Glass, but Marty’s kids wore goggles to the dinner table that they used to make phone calls and watch TV. But this particular wearable was more successful in the movie version of 2015 than the real one: After disappointing sales, Google discontinued production of Google Glass earlier this year.
In multiple scenes in Back to the Future Part II, characters — including Marty’s wife, Jennifer — use fingerprints to unlock devices and doors. It’s not far off at all from the biometric device-unlocking becoming increasingly common today — though fingerprint recognition is far more common (at least among commoners) to use with wireless devices than to unlock your home.
Screens Are Everywhere
Very much like today, the citizens of Back to the Future Part II were addicted to screens: TV screens and tablet-like screens which they used to make video calls. They also used devices in place of cash to pay for goods and services, like we’ve started to.
We don’t use drones to walk dogs (yet), but just like in Future II, these avian cameras are used by news organizations to take photos and video, and are well on their way to becoming ubiquitous. It’s too bad Back to the Future II didn’t give us any bright ideas for how to regulate them — something we’re going to have to figure out soon.
Hands-Free Video Games
Yep — we’ve got that, compliments of Microsoft’s XBox Kinect, though hands-on gaming is hardly a vintage curiosity like it is in Back to the Future Part II.
Honorable Mention: Hoverboards
You won’t be levitating around Chicago like Marty McFly did, but hoverboards do exist in a more limited capacity: We’ve got the Hendo and the Lexus hoverboards, though both can only be used over highly magnetized surfaces.
TBD: The Chicago Cubs as World Champions?
Bob Gale admitted that he wrote in a World Series win for the perpetually losing Chicago Cubs as a joke — they haven’t won a World Series in over a century. But in a prescient twist, the Cubs are closer to a championship than they have been in a long, long time: They are up against the Mets in the National League Championship series, but unless their luck (and hitting) improves soon, they won’t be for long. In fact, if they lose Wednesday’s game at Wrigley Field, it’s all over.