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Back in the 80s, the Michael J Fox & Christopher Lloyd classic, Back To The Future, promised us technology. Thirty years later, some stuff we have, others… we don’t. Since they supposedly hit the future on October 21st, 2015, now seems like a fitting time to look at the technology they promised, to see if we, the world, delivered.

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The Hoverboard

Perhaps the most noteworthy of the tech items featured in the film, hoverboards DO (sort of) exist, but they’re certainly not available for sale, so predictions of them replacing skateboards was clearly inaccurate. There is a bit of promise in the advancements, though. Just check out “Hoverboard Tony Hawk” on Google, or even our article on a Canadian hoverboard.

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Video Conferencing via Flatscreen Television

Marty gets a phone call and takes it in the den, and his boss pops up on their flatscreen television. Sure, it’s commonplace to Skype people now, and a huge portion of homes have flatscreens these days… but 30 years ago, NEITHER of those technologies existed.

Social Networking

When Marty’s Boss is on the television screen, it shows his likes and hobbies. Facebook’s got this one covered.

Flying Cars

The DeLorean was a special car, no doubt about it. But when it gets to 2015, it’s not the only car that’s flying around. We’ve got some small planes, but to date, still no flying planes.

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Rehydrated Food

Pop a tiny pizza in a re-hydrator, then moments later a huge, hot, fresh pizza is ready to go. It’s a no go.

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Video Games Without Using A Controller

In the diner, two kids are playing an old school arcade game (similar to Hogan’s Alley), and the kids talk about how lame the game is because Marty has to use a gun controller. More accurately, they call it lame because he has to use a controller with his hands at all. XBox One, anyone? Oh, and another thing…

Changing The Channel with Your Voice

When Marty’s son wants to watch television, he calls out channels he wants to watch. Voice-activated remote control. Yet another feature of the XBox One.

Drone Cameras

When future teenage Biff gets arrested after hoverboarding around the town square, the USA Today drone swoops in and gets footage for the paper. While there aren’t any news outlets doing this sort of photo journalism today, who would’ve guessed 30 years ago that people could fly drones around with cameras attached? Less than $1000 can pull you into that part of The Future.

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Drones Walking Dogs

Though it shouldn’t be hard to accomplish, I haven’t seen any drones walking dogs. Not exactly “myth busted”, but people still walk their dogs.

Self Tying Shoes

It doesn’t make sense that we don’t have this yet. Small switches, tiny motors… the only reason a shoe maker hasn’t made this everyday wearable tech is because the profit margin must not be worth it.

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Payments without Card Swipe

Old Biff pays a cab by letting the driver scan his thumbprint. These days, we’ve got Apple Pay, an Android option or two, and Samsung S5 lets you scan your fingerprint to authorize a payment.

Self Drying Jacket

Get caught in the rain, soaked despite a jacket? Marty McFly fell in a lake (or a fountain?), and his jacket dried him in an instant. Which we don’t have. Come on, L.L.Bean, this would put you over the North Face.

bdry


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