It’s Back To The Future Day!

back to the future day

Great Scott!

The day is here, from now on the future is in the past. October 21, 2015 is the actual day that Doc Brown, Marty McFly and Jennifer descended upon Hill Valley, California in Doc’s DeLorean time machine.

The movie is packed to the rafters with gadgets, tech and rather spectacular fashion. Watching it back over a quarter of a century later, we thought we’d run down the trends that actually exist now… and maybe a few of the less likely ones!

Fashion

Wearable tech is most certainly now a thing, in fact the entire tech world seems fascinated with creating the next wearable gadget, making the chance of once owning Marty’s talking jacket that much more likely. As much as we would all love to have our clothes blow dry us after a storm, chances are we’ll be waiting a while! That being said, certain fashion pioneers are experimenting with weaving electronics into their fabrics, allowing the clothes to generate energy.

Sure we don’t have police patrolling the streets with digital display helmets, we do have dresses that display tweets!
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Nike has even filed a patent for self-lacing shoes similar to those featured in the film. In the patent, Nike describes the design;

“An article of footwear with an automatic lacing system is disclosed. The automatic lacing system provides a set of straps that can be automatically opened and closed to switch between a loosened and tightened position of the upper. The article further includes an automatic ankle cinching system that is configured to automatically adjust an ankle portion of the upper.”

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Getting around

“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads…” – well Doc, you didn’t get that one quite right did you!

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Despite flying cars always seeming to be just over the horizon, nothing has come to fruition. The closest we’ve got is Boston-based Terrafugia, promising to start selling a model in 2012, but is still trying to get its business off the ground *pun very much intended*

But while the movie was overly optimistic about hovering, flying cars, it did get one vehicle feature right. The rise of electric-powered cars has brought us the low, near-silent hum that we associate with Toyota’s Prius, heard throughout the film as the vehicles pass by.

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Although we’ve not yet caught up to Mr Fusion’s energy converter, there have been moves towards powering vehicles with waste. Bristol and Bath recently started running buses powered by treated thrown-away food and sewage.

We couldn’t write a blog like this, and not mention the film’s iconic hoverboard, probably one of the least likely to come to life when the film was made, however very much a reality now!

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Lexus showed off a working hoverboard of its own in August, albeit one that relied on a hidden metal track being buried into the ground. More recently, skateboarder Tony Hawk was filmed trying out a rival version, called Hendo, based on similar magnet-based technology.

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Tech

Marty Jr’s hi-tech specs are seen in real life now in the form of Google Glass. However, it’s not only Google who are cornering the market for wearable face tech,  Microsoft’s Hololens and Facebook’s Oculus Rift virtual reality headset are also bringing movie fiction into the real world.

Surely the biggest miss of the film was the lack of smartphones in Marty’s future, he’s even seen using an AT&T payphone at one point – all the more ironic since the company was first to offer the iPhone. No touchscreens, no video calling on a handheld device, so maybe the future is better than Doc expected?

It seems only right that now we’ve looked at what fictional, dreamt up tech and fashion the movies thought the future would hold, we have compiled a list of things we, in the Raw office expect to see in the next 25 years…

  • Apple will be a major car manufacturer
  • Society will be cashless
  • TV will be purely on demand
  • Marketing will be completely data led, predominantly by location and personalised spending habits
  • Printed collateral will still exist
  • Homes will be controlled by voice command
  • Teleporter instead of stairs
  • Clones of you
  • Holiday homes on the moon

What do you hope to see in 2040?

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