On November 22, 1989, Back to the Future Part II was released to the world, depicting the great Marty McFly as he travelled to the future. Well folks, we’ve finally arrived to the famously futuristic date of October 21, 2015.
Image: Universal Pictures
The film made plenty of predictions, and many of them have come true. In fact, many of the predictions have been realized by Apple. Here are some of those predictions.
One prediction that BTTFPII makes about the world in 2015 is that we would be using our TVs to talk to people in different locations. This is obviously very accurate, with services like Apple’s FaceTime being available. However, as we all know, companies like Apple have taken things even further than that. Now, we can talk to our friends and family with a tiny rectangle that fits in our pocket called the smartphone.
Of course, not everything about communication that the film predicted was accurate. Specifically, it said that most business would be conducted through the fax machine. We have yet to see the Apple Fax, however we do have Apple Mail, which could be said to be a much easier-to-use and an overall better version of the fax machine.
After Doc and Marty make it to the future, Doc tells Marty to get out of the DeLorean. When Marty points out that it’s pouring rain, Doc looks at a watch on his wrist and tells Marty to wait five seconds, after which the rain stops and the pair can get out of the car.
While weather apps perhaps aren’t that precise, what’s interesting is that Doc looks at a watch to get this information. You know where this prediction is going.
Last year, Apple finally announced its smartwatch offering, the Apple Watch, which can do much more than just tell the weather. Using the Apple Watch we can find weather information, maps, emails, messages, and so on. We can even control whether or not our garage door is open or closed. Just like in the case of video chatting, Apple has gone above and beyond the predictions made in Back to the Future Part II.
In BTTFPII, we see Jennifer wake up in her future home, where she meets old Marty, old Jennifer and their children. The home there offers features that are remarkably similar to the smart home that we are becoming accustomed to today.
Apple is playing a big part in the rise of the smart home, with its HomeKit development platform now available for developers. HomeKit essentially brings together all the different aspects of a smart home, allowing users to control things like lights, alarms, security systems, and even home appliances, straight from their iPhone. In fact, HomeKit ties together two things that BTTFPII predicts, enabling users to even control aspects of their home from their Apple Watch, as demonstrated at the Apple event where the Apple Watch was announced.
Virtual Reality Headsets
Okay, this one’s not totally accurate, as Apple hasn’t officially announced any virtual reality products just yet. The company has, however, filed a number of patents suggesting that it may be thinking of entering the virtual reality world sometime soon. One of these, for example, shows a headset very similar to Google Cardboard, which would allow users to use their phone as the display on the headset. What this means is that the headset itself would be very cheap, which is an important part of whether or not virtual reality will ever take off for good.
Apart from that, it’s certainly possible that Apple could release a more substantial VR offering, especially with the likes of Google, Facebook and Samsung playing prominent roles in virtual reality.
The future isn’t exactly what the creators of the film thought it would be (thankfully…some of those fashion choices are horrendous), but they certainly had some good ideas. In fact, even the hoverboard seems to be on its way to a commercial release, with companies like Arx Pax having developed a magnet-based hoverboard called the Hendo Hoverboard. Only time will tell if we end up with things like flying cars though. Perhaps the first will be the Apple Car?