When Back to the Future Part II was released in 1989, the year 2015 was a lifetime away. I saw the movie with a group of friends for my twelfth birthday party, and we were floored by the cool technology as it’s depicted in the future scenes. Flying cars! Hoverboards! Power-lacing Nikes! We all agreed: it would be a long wait indeed until 2015.
Here we are, midway through 2013, and so much of what Back to the Future Part II promised has yet to be realized. Like all twelve-year-olds who saw the movie, we were absolutely convinced that, of all the futuristic contraptions and devices, the hoverboard was the most likely to appear on store shelves. In fact, director Robert Zemeckis and his production staff successfully duped many moviegoers into believing that they had invented a real hoverboard specifically for the film.
But alas, no hoverboards. No flying cars. No power-lacing Nikes or self-drying jackets. No holographic movie trailers, food hydrators or retractable fruit buffets. Mercifully so, the movie’s prediction of early-21st-century fashion has remained fictional: no double-ties, no wearing our jeans pockets inside-out, no metallic sunglasses (or whatever the hell those things are that Doc Brown wears).
So what did the movie get right, if anything?
Watch the following clip to find out:
That’s right, Marty’ children are using devices that resemble Google Glass. So in the world of Back to the Future, Google Glass is invented ostensibly before the Internet. That’s not quite as dramatic as inventing aerosol deodorant before the wheel, as the 50-armed Jatravartids do in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but it’s unbelievable (now) nonetheless.
Had Marty, Doc and Jennifer visited the real 2015 — just two years from now — how would their reactions be different? Marty calls the power-lacing Nikes “far out.” What would he have thought about iPhones, Xboxes and GPSes?