2015 According to “Back to the Future”

January 13, 2015

Back to the Future 2015Back to the Future Part II landed in cinemas in November 1989. The film follows Doc Brown and Marty McFly as they blasted themselves into the far-off year of 2015. Now that it really is 2015, let’s look at a few of the film’s technological predictions.


Mirroring a scene in the original Back to the Future in which Marty (Michael J. Fox) escapes a group of bullies with a makeshift skateboard, in Part II, he evades bullies with a hoverboard. Almost every kid that saw the film wanted one; it only got worse when in a “making of” special that aired on NBC, director Robert Zemeckis said that Mattel had created a working hoverboard but wouldn’t produce it out of fears that kids would injure themselves. (He was joking about all of it, of course.) After elaborate pranks like this one, we were recently introduced to a hoverboard that uses magnetic technology and only works on a special surface. However, you still can’t buy an operable hoverboard for street use.

Flat TVs and Video Phones

Marty’s future self uses his flat, widescreen TV to chat with a coworker and his boss in one scene. Things don’t work out so well for him and he’s later fired via an angry fax message. Nowadays, video calls can be made by using everything from “ultra thin” televisions to smartphones with services like Skype and Apple’s FaceTime. (The fax machine, however, has fallen from popularity.)

Flying Cars

Marty and Doc fly over Hill Valley in a modified DeLorean fueled by a device called “Mr Fusion.” Needless to say, you’re not reading these words while stuck in traffic on a “skyway.” While progress is steadily being made on flying cars and there are a few prototypes out there, experts say that these vehicles won’t become an everyday sight for at least another decade or more.

Nike Air Mags

Another product that every kid who saw the movie back in 1989 really wanted? A pair of these high-top Nike sneakers with “power laces” that tied themselves with the push of a button. Unfortunately, you still can’t buy a pair of working Air Mags, as they’ve since been dubbed, but you can purchase replicas. Nike even created 1,500 official pairs for a charity event back in 2011 The last time we checked, the limited edition sneakers were selling for up to $9,000 on eBay. The good news is that Nike recently confirmed that they plan on releasing the shoe line this year. Let’s cross our fingers that they do.

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Candace M.
Candace M.
January 13, 2015 8:00 pm

I wish we had pizza hydrators, or food hydrators like they did in the film. Fingerprint entries instead of keys for the common household would be great too!

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