Back To The Future: What did they get right about 2015’s technology?

Great Scott, the day has finally come. The iconic future date from Back To The Future 2, October 21 2015, has arrived, but how accurate was the film in predicting today’s technology?

Amazingly, the 2015 in the film does share a number of similarities with the real 2015, including 3D film, wearable technology and video call communication, which have all become relatively normal in today’s world. However, the idea of time travel itself is still firmly planted in the realms of science fiction.

The Hendo hoverboard works great providing you hover over a magnetic surface


A few of the film’s far fetched ideas, such as hoverboards and flying cars, are actually quite close to becoming a reality. Various companies claim to have built working hoverboards, One pioneer, Californian based designer Greg Henderson, has developed a hoverboard that works using four ‘hover engines’ that push against each other providing there is a metal conductor on the surface beneath it.

Self-tying shoe laces haven’t been perfected yet


Self-tying shoe laces, an iconic features of the 80s film, are also yet to hit the shelves. There has however been some research into this technology. mainly by a company that claims to have made their very own version- the Powerlace. This auto-lacing system is engaged as soon as the user puts their foot into the shoe. Their weight automatically engages the system, providing the energy needed to tighten the shoes.

The Powerlace is the closest we’ve got to producing a self-tying trainer

We are yet to see any dog-walking drones, but drones themselves are just starting to take-off in a big way commercially, and have been in existence for a number of years in the military. News drones are also featured in the film, and are starting to become a reality as they can provide fast access to hard to reach areas, and provide a fresh look at crowded events.

Camera drones are becoming more and more popular, and soon will stream live news to our TVs


Just around the corner?


A dust-jacket for a book is hardly new tech, but a patent for dust-proof filming that could be applied to almost anything should soon be available to buy.


We don’t exactly have talking coats, but smart coats that can charge your smartphone and have other technology built in are just starting to come on the market.


Marty’s family have a video screen that rolls over a window like a blind, displaying a video of a scenic view. This type of screen has now been invented; Samsung, Sony and Phillips will all be selling such a device in the foreseeable future.

For more incredible technology news, make sure you pick up the latest copy of How It Works. It’s available from all good retailers, or you can order it online from the ImagineShop. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can also download the digital version onto your iOS or Android device. To make sure you never miss an issue of How It Works magazine, make sure you subscribe today!

Plus, take a look at:

Why can’t we use magnets to make hover cars?

Airboard- the world’s smallest manned aerial vehicle

Zapata Flyboard in action