All the things that Back to the Future got right (and wrong)

Wednesday 21st October 2015 marks the date that Marty McFly and Doc Brown flew through time to visit in the 1989 classic Back to the Future II.

While the film, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd, made many fanciful predictions which we're still waiting for, it was surprisingly correct in some aspects.

Here's what it got right and what it got wrong about the world we live in, in 2015:

Fingerprint scanners

Fingerprint recognition, like that used to pay for a taxi in the film, can be found on the latest iPhones and at US passport control.

Fuelling cars on rubbish

While you can't exactly scavenge through a wheelie-bin and force feed it through your car's petrol cap (as Doc does to the DeLorean), using waste as a fuel - in the form of biogas, is something we use in 2015. There's even a bus in Bristol that runs entirely on human and food waste.

Hoverboard transportation

The kind with wheels may be banned on British streets, but inventors in the US have managed to create a real hoverboard using powerful electromagnets and a metal course. The Hendo II, fronted by renowned skateboarder Tony Hawk will be launched on Wednesday.

Here's the Hendo I in action:

Hands-free games

A young Elijah Wood and his pal denounce Marty for using a video game that needs a handset in the film, suggesting that by 2015 hands-free computer games would be mainstream. Indeed, the film was right, if the popularity of the Xbox Kinect is anything to go by.

Tablet computers

Yep, the 1989 film correctly predicted the rise of the iPad - as shown in a scene where Marty is asked to sign a petition to save the clock tower in Hill Valley on one.

Video conferencing

Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts... BTTF2 had it all covered.


It even predicted GoogleGlass.


Flying cars

While flying automobiles are prevalent in the film, sadly that's not quite the case in 2015, although a few efforts at them are in the works...

Self-tying shoelaces

Sadly also not a thing yet, although Nike seems to be confident they're not that far away.

The ever-growing popularity of laser discs or CDs

Via Gawker

Despite what this scene from the film predicted, no one really uses CDs or the even more old-fashioned laser discs anymore.

Remote control dog walkers

Via Guardian

Sadly for lazy dog owners, these leash drones aren't yet a thing.

Fax machines on the roadside, instead of email



Queen Diana visits Washington

A newspaper clipping from the film predicted Princess Diana would be the Queen by 2015. Sadly, she passed away in 1997. The same newspaper also predicted that the US would have a female president - something which still hasn't happened. Although, Hillary Clinton may change all that next year.

Double ties

Unless these are suddenly on trend in an obscure corner of east London, we're pretty confident that the double-tie isn't actually a thing in 2015.

More: Top 10 terrible tech predictions

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