3 Min Read
Well, the long wait is officially over, it’s officially Back to the Future Day!!
For those of you that are now sat there wondering what we’re going on about, today is the day that Marty McFly and Doc Brown crashed into the future some 26 years ago in the second film of the trilogy.
Released in 1989, the sequel to the original Back to the Future movie made today’s date seem like lightyears ago at the time, where people believed that we’d now be citizens of an alien-like, futuristic world, with incomprehensible technological advancements that defined a prospective expectation of life in the year 2015. Although there are many questions that fans may be wondering today, we take a look at how Back to the Future may have influenced some pivotal technological landmarks of the Digital Age.
When the film was first released the thought of wearable technology quite probably sounded preposterous, so when we first saw Marty’s talking jacket it’s no surprise that people didn’t run out of the cinema screaming. However, when we look back retrospectively it’s clear that that feeling is most definitely a thing of the past, particularly with the emerging popularity of wearable tech products such as Apple Watch and Fitbit.
To draw upon another perplexing idea at the time, the police hats with flashing messages detailing the officer’s credentials, now almost seem to resemble CuteCircuit’s Twitter dress. Is it too farfetched to consider that the inception of these social media integrated garments have been inspired from BTTF?
In BTTF II, you may remember that the McFly’s had a roll-up flatscreen in their home and a voice-controlled television in their home that displayed a range of digital content.
This preconception of the future of home entertainment was quite possibly the most accurate, given that smart TV’s already boast much of this technology with LG’s super-thin, flexible screens and voice-controlled TV’s from Samsung and Sony. Further to this, voice-control has now been cemented into our everyday lives with Siri on iPhone and Cortana on Windows enabling the user to operate their mobile phone without the need to even touch a button!
Another notable similarity from the film is Marty Jr.’s hi-tech JVC specs, and despite the brand not necessarily still the heavyweight that it once was, it could have inspired many of today’s smartglasses such as Google Glass, Microsoft Hololens and Facebook’s Oculus Rift VR headset.
Even with the inclusion of smartglasses and smart TV’s in the film, it’s fairly surprising that there was no representation of a smartphone in the film. However, there was subtle undertones of a data-connected world, but the interface for this form of satellite communication was through the TV rather than a handheld device.
Although the DeLorean time machine is still far from reality even now that we’re ‘in the future’, the hoverboard is possibly the fan’s favourite method of transport in the film, as they watched Marty Jr. race away from Biff in an outlandish chase scene.
Given that Lexus have recently revealed a levitating magnetic hoverboard prototype, which operates in a similar way to the one in the film, it’d be no surprise to see these hitting the mainstream in the next 20 years or so. Additionally, a crowd-funded project by Silicon Valley tech company Hendo, has seen the development of a different type of working hoverboard with Tony Hawk helping design and test the prototype.
Although hoverboards aren’t perceived to be a thing of the norm as yet, other technological mobility products – such as the Segway and the less-expensive Swegway – have eased their way into consumer’s lives and could potentially derive from the hoverboards efficient transportation (even if they do look a bit daft!).
To their credit, it seems that the filmmakers’ perception of life in 2015 isn’t too far from reality with many similarities in the digital and technological world, so to consider that Back to the Future has been an inspiration behind many of these products shouldn’t be too strange of a concept.
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