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The 10 Technology of ‘Back to the Future’ Oct 21, 2015 Is Here

In 1989, teenage time traveler Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) returned to theaters in Back to the Future Part II, the sequel to director Robert Zemeckis’s original sci-fi comedy classic. As the story unfolds, Marty and his temporal travel guide, Doctor Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd), flash forward in time to the exotic future environs of Oct. 21, 2015.

Alert readers will note the proximity of that particular date. So how does the movie’s conception of future sci-fi technology match up to our current reality?

Take a look at our heavy comparison of 2015s . (And no, neither suffers from any problems with the Earth’s gravitational pull.)

1. Hoverboards
Probably the single most iconic prop from the 1989 movie is Marty’s futuristic hoverboard, which updates the 1980s-style skateboard while removing that pesky tradition of wheels. Marty’s board in the movie floats freely over any surface, including water — kind of like a radically miniaturized hovercraft. Hoverboards are indeed a reality in 2015, though they’re nowhere near as versatile as Marty’s ride. The California-based startup Arx Pax just unveiled its Hendo 2.0 hoverboard, which levitates on a magnetic cushion atop specially prepared metallic surfaces and half pipes.

Read also : Three Real-Life Hoverboards that Actually Exist and has a different kind of Physics behind it

2. Flying Cars
Science fiction movies have given us flying cars before, but few are as cool as Doc Brown’s tricked-out, time-traveling DeLorean. (Well, one other flying car comes to mind.) In Back to the Future Part II, flying vehicles are commonplace circa 2015. In the current timeline we call reality, not so much — although you may be surprised at what some manufacturers are getting up to. For example, the MIT spinoff company Terrafugia has already built a street-legal (and FAA-approved) auto-airplane hybrid. It’s called the Transition, and it’s just one of several flying cars in various stages of development worldwide.

3. Trash Fusion
In the fictional 2015, Doc Brown powers his time-traveling DeLorean by way of a Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor, which converts household garbage directly into energy. Specifically, the device provides the 1.21 gigawatts needed to travel through the time-space continuum. Neat trick, that. Does such a device exist in the real 2015? Not precisely, although there is an entire biofuel industry dedicated to the underlying concept. Earlier this year, an outfit called Fulcrum BioEnergy announced plans for a factory that will turn household garbage into jet fuel and diesel gasoline.

4. Holographic Advertising
In the movie, Marty comes across a futuristic movie marquee advertising the latest installment of a long-running film franchise — Jaws 19 (directed by “Max Spielberg”). The billboard comes to life, swooping down on Marty in the form of a giant shark hologram. Once again, we find reality fast encroaching on fictional territory. The Austrian company TriLite Technologies is working on a line of “autostereoscopic” video billboards that the company says will enable outdoor 3D displays with no 3D glasses required. The technology has yet to be demonstrated, however — the image here is an artist’s conception.

5. Pepsi Perfect
Product placement, of course, is a cosmic force that knows no boundaries of time or space. When Marty orders up a futuristic Pepsi Perfect in the movie, he finds a vitamin-enriched formula in a space-age bottle with built-in robo-straw, or something. One of several companies taking advantage of Back to the Future Part II marketing opportunities, Pepsi has already distributed limited-edition Pepsi Perfect bottles at promotional events this year. On Oct. 21, 6,500 bottles of Pepsi Perfect will be available for purchase online for the low, low price of $20.15. (See what they did there?) Pepsi even made this disquieting retro-future video to hype the parallel timeline crossover.

6. Self-Tying Shoes
It’s a throwaway sight gag in the film, but one that has had a remarkable shelf life in the public imagination: Marty tries on a pair of fictional future Nike shoes and is pleasantly surprised when the laces tie themselves. As a technological breakthrough, it’s not a hoverboard or a flying car, but still — it would be kind of nice. Well, stay tuned. Nike designers have hinted that the company is indeed working on a 2015 release of the film’s Nike MAG shoes with, yes, “Power Lace” technology. The company has even filed a patent, evidently. You can read the full article  here: http://www.blogmytuts.net/2015/10/nike-will-release-marty-mcfly-self.html

7. Hi-Tech Trashcans
Littering is discouraged in the fictional future of 2015, to the degree that robotic mobile trashcans — called Litter Bugs — prowl the streets and follow pedestrians in a kind of preemptive-strike strategy. We don’t have roving garbage bots yet, but the old-school city trash can is actually getting pretty sophisticated in certain municipalities. The waste management company Bigbelly has deployed “smart” trash cans — including recycling and compost bins — in several major cities. The high-tech waste stations feature solar-powered compactors and networked sensors for communicating with trash trucks. Some are even being outfitted as urban Wi-fi hotspots.

8. Biometrics
When Back to the Future Part II was released, the field of biometric authentication — fingerprint readers, retinal scanners — was more fiction than science, at least in the realm of everyday applications. It was rather radical to see characters in the movie use their thumbprint to open locks or pay for cabs. Biometric systems are everywhere these days, of course. We’ve got facial-recognition algorithms in our cameras and fingerprint scanners on our phones. We’re likely to see even more of this in coming years, as new iterations of biometric technology replace traditional retail and authentication systems.

9. VR Headsets
During one scene in the fictional 2015 of Back to the Future Part II, Marty Jr. and his sister wear “video glasses” to the dinner table so they can watch TV and take video calls while multitasking the usual family time obligations. Yeah, that’s hitting a little close to home. The film’s flash-forward conception of head-mounted perpetual connectivity seems eerily prescient when compared with something like Google Glass. The McFly family’s gizmos also resemble the next wave of full-featured VR headsets — like the Oculus Rift and its competitors — expected to hit retail shelves in force early next year.

10. Camera Drones
When bad guy Biff is arrested in one of the film’s 2015 sequences, a USA Today camera drone descends to record the incident. Look closely and you’ll see the clunky-looking drone even has a logo sticker on the side that reads: “Always There First.” Spooky. In our actual 2015, camera drones are indeed crowding the skies, causing weird problems and prompting fierce debate about issues of surveillance, safety and public policy. Just this week, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced plans to require even recreational UAV operators to register their drones.

Related : First FAA-Approved Drove Deliveries Coming July 17 not from Amazon

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