GREAT SCOTT MARTY We’re past 2015!!!!!! Back To The Future 2 made some bold predictions regarding the 21st century. So today, we look into how correct they were. We will look into the technologies employed in the film. We shall also analyze the level of advancement we have reached.
One thing we all need to accept, is the fact that time travel is not going to be possible in the near future, let alone getting a time travelling DeLorean. Let’s see if there’s any hope with the other tech presented: –
I. TRANSPORTATION TECH
- FLYING CARS: Back To The Future predicts 2015 will see the widespread adoption of flying cars. These not just include the ones aerodynamically built for it, but even the regular cars converted into them. While major parts of this prediction don’t stand up in today’s date, flying vehicles have already started popping up. A number of start-ups have started developing commercial jet packs, flying motorbikes and personal air taxis. The widespread adoption though, is still a distant dream. Germany-based Volocopter, for instance, has marketed its VoloCity craft as the first commercially licensed electrically powered air taxi. Consequently, this vehicle will run without a pilot.
- ROBOTIC CAR REPAIRS: We see TEXACO having robotic arms that can perform tasks like “filling gas” and even “checking landing gear”. Though we have such automation for electric cars, we still have a long way to go till the same technology is available for regular cars.
- HOVER BOARDS: Here comes the 1st disappointment; NO HOVER BOARDS YET!!!!! The closest we’e come, is in the form of HENDO’s Hover board. Having 4 disc shaped hover engines, it hovers using magnetic levitation that pushes it from the ground in the air. However, these only work on surfaces containing metal, thus, not available for public use. So, sorry!!! You cannot pull out Marty McFly’s tricks on the road.
II. BACK TO THE FUTURE 2 ‘s ENTERTAINMENT TECH
- TV & GAMING: Flat screen TVs (that too voice controlled) was the closest B.T.T.F 2 got to any of the real life inventions today. In fact, it even successfully predicted multiple viewing in TVs (Xbox allowed simultaneous gaming and Television viewing). However the most accurate prediction the movie made, was that of “video calling”. Marty communicates with Needles and his boss via a screen. The movie also accurately predicted “hand-less gaming”. In the 80s cafe, the kids of 2015 shrug off Marty’s gaming skills just because the game requires “using hands”. This can be an advanced version of what we know today as V.R.
- HOLOGRAM TECH: Now JAWS 19 may not see the light of the day, but the hologram tech that it uses to promote the film outside theaters may do. In fact, the very famous “Tupac Hologram” is an example of how this tech resurrected a dead legend for a night. Apart from this, Light & Sound Shows make regular use of it. We also have Holography, which we use to carry out high-precision measurements. Apart from this, we even use Holograms for information storage.
III. TECH RELATING TO HUMAN BODY
- BIONIC BODY PARTS & IMPLANTS: Though not as advanced as Griff’s bionic implants, bionic body parts and implants are very much in vogue. Artificial Limbs and prosthesis is a thriving industry in today’s date. It has gone a long way in improving the lives of the disabled.
- SLEEP INDUCING TECH: Well, the Sleep Inducing Alpha Rhythm Generator to be precise. Alpha waves are a type of brain wave that occur during sleep. The closest we’ve got to this technology is Trans-cranial Magnetic Stimulation. It uses magnetic fields to create small electrical currents in parts of the brain. Researchers are trying to tune these waves in order to stimulate a sleeping brain. This is used to generate REM Sleep in which, there is rapid eye movements and brain activity with increased pulse. Thus, you sleep and dream more quickly.
IV. BACK TO THE FUTURE 2 PREDICTS THE “SURVEILLANCE AGE”
- THE IMPORTANCE OF BIO-METRICS: Whether it’s a taxi cab payment, retracing a lost and found case or even opening doors, bio-metrics have become a staple in B.T.T.F’s 2015 future. So is the case in today’s date, with the most prominent example being the Aadhaar Data that requires Fingerprints along with Iris Scans and Facial Recognition. In today’s date, everything from gadgets to important documents can be traced via fingerprints. Bio-Metrics are even used to unearth archaeological evidence. Doc even said that fingerprints stay the same for years. That’s why Jennifer’s bio-metrics were in records as they were the same as old Jennifer’s.
- ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: In the movie, we see The McFly family, Doc Brown and many others interacting with seemingly intelligent devices, bearing resemblance to today’s Siri, Alexa, Google Assisstant etc. Marty’s house assistant too acts just like Alexa. The McFly children also wear some form of advanced watch, similar to the Apple Watch. Not to forget, the voice enabled “Hydrator”, lights, electronics and even a fruit basket point to an A.I dependent world; kinda similar to ours. Marty’s kids use something like the “Google Glass” which can act as a glass and a phone. Marty’s clothes automatically sense that he’s wet and they dry themselves, while his Nikes automatically lace up when they sense they’re being worn. This is a level of A.I advancement which we haven’t reached as of yet. However, one thing we can see today, is that A.I enabled can trace all of us. We see our devices predicting our online behavior and suggesting us required results. Our devices even suggest us products which we talked about just moments ago.
V. OTHER TECH PREDICTIONS
- DEEP FAKES: Marty is clearly shocked when he sees Michael Jackson and Ronald Reagan serving in the 80s Cafe. This is similar to deep fakes in today’s date. Transformers used the same tech to recreate John F Kennedy in Dark of The Moon. Deep fakes are increasing in use today. Deep fakes are in wide use today; whether it is for memes or other forms of entertainment.
- NEWS DRONES: Though not USA Today, but many news agencies like CNN have started to shift from expensive chopper and bulky equipment to portable drones. “Drone Journalism” is emerging to be the future of news coverage soon.
- COLD FUSION REACTORS: Most technologies today use Fission instead as Fusion requires extremely high temperatures. And when you have a DeLorean that needs to travel through time, you’ll need 1.2 Gigawatts of energy. Said process requires extremely high temperatures. We still haven’t achieved this tech though. The closest we have got to this, is ethanol blended fuel (ethanol is made from corn or other organic material). However still, we have a long way to go to get reactors (let alone Nuclear Reactors) powered by organic materials like beer and banana peels. Sorry guys, but Cold fusion reactors on your cars is not coming any time soon.
FINAL WORDS ON BACK TO THE FUTURE 2
B.T.T.F has become am indistinguishable part of pop culture. The world and characters it created, have etched themselves in history. Considering it came out in the 80s, it did get a lot of things about the future right. Thus, makers Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale deserve all the praise in the world.
Although, there are a number of things we haven’t achieved as of yet, B.T.T.F 2 has successfully predicted the starting points of that tech. Eg. The hover-board and robotic car repairs. 1 thing however, which they predicted wrong, were that the world would be a better place. It predicted a pivot towards clean energy. Unfortunately, the world has only worsened in terms of energy. Fossil Fuel levels have consistently risen. This has led to a rise in carbon levels as well.
All in all, B.T.T.F 2 is a worthy successor of it’s predecessor. It gives us an almost accurate dose of the future. We can even use many of these to plan future tech development. In fact, Elon Musk is working on a Neuralink Brain Chip. This will help paralyzed people to operate technology and bionic body parts with their brain. The future is going to be wild or in Marty’s words, “It’s gonna be heavy!!!”.