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Ten Technologies From Back To The Future That Actually Exist

By Science  • 6370 Views

When I saw this film for the first time, I thought how cool the future will be for us in just next few decades. But honestly - is this future world really so full of technologies like in the movie?

Dock and Marty in 2015 / © sketch from Google Images

The legendary film by Robert Zemeckis, who predicted the emergence of different kinds of gadgets and technologies of our time, this year finally “grows together” with reality. It was in October 2015, the mad inventor Emmett Brown went with his friend Marty McFly to save the world and their own future. Today we parse subtle technology of the film, as reflected in our world.

1. 3D Movies


Stereo video, of course, came long before the fictional journey Marty and Doc in the future, and the filmmakers knew about it. The history of stereoscopic cinema has almost one hundred and fifty years, but in the XX century 3D was still a novelty for a popular audience – almost like a hoverboard for us now. Zemeckis and different writers predicted that the 3D technology will be encountered everywhere in the XXI century.

2. Smart Homes


The house where the McFly’s family lives in 2015, is a striking concept of a “smart” home, stuffed with gadgets and robotic equipment. To get inside, you can, of course, put a finger to the biometric sensor. The most interesting fact is that widely distributed systems like Home Kit and accessories has really began to gain popularity in 2014-2015.

3. Video call


We saw many times that characters in the movie talk to a TV with a built-in camera – video system of the future (Skype, FaceTime, any video chat). Here writers hit the mark, although different sci-fi movies and books of the XX century had described the same way of doing remote dialogue for many times.

4. Drones


When Marty had got to his native district, he saw a strange scene: an aircraft walking a dog and holding the leash. If I would seen the movie for the first time five years ago, I won’t be amazed as the protagonist of “Back to the Future”. It’s hard to surprise a person from 2010s with drones. However, walking a dog with the help of a drone still looks a bit damn strange.

5. Google Glass


In the movie Marty and Doc made several appearances in the frame with “smart” glasses. For example, the main character talking on the phone using this device. As we recall, the project of “smart” glasses by Google, to put it mildly, did not work, so we still have to go on and on to make it work properly. Although, Google Glass looks as terrible and monstrously as sci-fi glasses of McFly.

6. Controller-less games


Finding himself in the future, the protagonist falls in the local diner and shows students a master class in virtual man shooting. Children of the future made a fun of him – they say a game where you have to play using your hands must be created for young brats. Now It is a very clear analogy with the Kinect for Xbox 360, and indeed, the gesture control technology.

7. iPad’s


Various hints of phablets or tablets arrive in the film for several times. For example, the old man who came to McFly and asked to chip in for the restoration of the legendary clock on the facade of a building destroyed by a lightning strike. You can see an elongated device in his hand, like a tablet or smartphone. Rather, the writers simply computerized paper plate or bag to collect donations. But anyway, the prototype iPad in the hand of the old man looks spectacular and a bit Star Trek-style.

8. Holograms


In the city of the future Marty has been “bitten” by a holographic shark from the commercial of the 19th part of “Jaws.” Ironic allusion to the endless continuation of Hollywood blockbusters and the using of holograms in the future. For example, by using them in show business of the XXI century to “resurrect” dead stars – at the Coachella-2012 fest the famous hip-hop musician Tupac Shakur, who was killed in 1996, was “substituted” by his digital copy.

9. Plasm TV


Large plasma TVs are common in houses and stores of the future by Zemeckis. They often represents the ability to split screen into several areas. Take a look at any TV technology like Smart-TV or just a big monitor – we have a lot in common with the people of the “Back to the Future” universe!

10. Cloud services


In the future, the hero says something that was a sample of wonderful prophetic remark by Zemeckis: «Nobody uses laser discs anymore». While it is inapplicable to the end of the 80s – the heyday of the CD, especially in the music industry. Only a decade-plus digital players ejected CD-drives from the market, but a quote from the film still reflects the evolution of media: CD-drives -> Digital drives -> cloud services.

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