How Close to Reality was Back to the Future Part II?
We're a few days into 2014 and that means that we are now less than a year away from 2015. Why is 2015 so important? Because that's the year that we will officially be living in "the future" - according to the film Back to the Future Part II, that is.
This year, the sequel to the 1985 classic turns 25 years old. While the Robert Zemeckis film starring Michael J. Fox was never as popular as its predecessor, the film is a cult favorite among sci-fi geeks and children of the 1980's, largely due to its colorful predictions about what America would look like in the year 2015.
Next year, the Internet will be full of articles examining how close the world is to some of the innovations and technologies that were shown in the film. So, CNS News.com decided to beat everyone to the punch and examine just how close we are to achieving the future we were all promised.
Of course, we at CNS News.com realize that the makers of the film still have a year for all of their predictions to come to fruition. So, for the purposes of this article, we are going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that there is still a possibility that each of these developments could occur between now and January 1st of next year.
1. Flying Cars
According to the film, one year from now, the skies above America will be filled with flying cars. There will be a complex system of sky roads and sky highways and you will be able to get your current car converted to a flying car if you don't already have one.
At this point, there IS a prototype for the flying car. They haven't got it in the air yet, but the scientists assure us that they're close! As of right now, its creators have yet to release the details of how the freeways in the sky are going to be laid out in a way that prevents everyone from dying a horrible death and how to avoid flaming car parts from raining down on people following the inevitable sky car accidents which would also lead to many horrible deaths.
If Americans are capable of updating their Twitter status or taking a quality selfie while they're driving, I'm pretty sure they can handle hurtling through the air at breakneck speeds in a two ton flying death machine.
In one of the film's most famous scenes, Marty McFly is being chased by a group of angry future bullies. In order to escape, Marty borrows what he believes to be a scooter from a little girl. When he examines it more closely, however, he realizes that it has no wheels. It's a "hoverboard," a skateboard-shaped device that uses electromagnetic energy to hover a foot off the ground.
The hoverboard quickly became every child's dream toy (Myself Included). Who wouldn't want to zoom through the neighborhood on a flying skateboard?
The good news for kids is that the hoverboard is halfway to becoming a reality. We have the boards. Tons of them. Board technology has been around for thousands of years. Science simply hasn't figured out how to get them to hover.
Additionally, due to Obamacare, hospitals will have far fewer doctors on hand to deal with the inevitable increases in broken bones and head injuries sure to come as a result of the new technology.
3. Self-Fitting Clothing.
When Doc Brown provides Marty with a set of sleek future clothing so that he can successfully impersonate his future son, his shoes and jacket adjust in size so that they fit Marty perfectly. The mistake that the film's creators made was that the clothing SHRINKS to fit Marty.
Given the nation's trend toward morbid obesity, it's far more likely that technological advancements in the fashion industry will favor clothing that is capable of EXPANDING in an effort to keep up with America's rapidly increasing collective girth.
4. Fax Machines
While some of the concepts in Back to the Future Part II dramatically overestimated mankind's technical evolution, other assumptions about the world in 2015 ended up being far less advanced than what science actually ended up achieving.
For example, the streets of 2015 Hill Valley, California are still lined with phone booths. Today, the only place you can find a phone booth is in a museum.
While the film accurately predicted video conferencing like the kind we enjoy today on platforms such as Skype, it also guessed that fax machines would become a far more integral part of our lives. The McFly home of the future has fax machines hanging on the wall of almost every room.
No one in the film is seen carrying anything that resembles a cell phone.
Perhaps, the makers of the film were on to something here. What if Americans learn within the next year that use of cellular technology leads to some horribly debilitating mental disease? Or that our smart phones are being used to transmit alien signals into our brains intended to turn us all into Scientologists? If that happens then it's entirely possible that we will devolve into using pay phones and fax machines for our communication needs.
Keep some quarters handy.
5. Virtual Waiters.
In 2015 Marty McFly goes into a restaurant to get a Pepsi. Instead of being met by a hostess or a waiter a television screen with a talking cartoon image of President Ronald Reagan pops up to take his order.
This particular change could very well occur within the next year. With fast food workers and labor unions demanding a hike in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, the idea that they could be replaced with automated services very soon is not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
6. The Chicago Cubs Win the World Series.
Of all the predictions made in Back to the Future Part II, this one is by far the least likely to occur between now and next year.
Upon seeing a billboard that the Cubs have won the 2015 World Series, one resident of Hill Valley mentions to Marty that he
wishes he could go back in time and put money on the Cubs.
Don't be stupid.
Back to the Future II is just a movie. If you're going to take anything in it as a serious premonition, you're better off investing in ink and printer paper for your fax machine.