DIDN'T HAPPEN: Flying cars
A flying car may be the most anticipated Back to the Future II prediction but that day has yet to arrive. (Neither have barcode license plates, for that matter.) There are three companies, however, that claim to be working on flying cars (which actually look like small planes with retractable wings that would have to be operated by a licensed pilot, natch). To date, the closest we’ve come to a modern-day DeLorean DMC-12 would be buzz that Toyota is looking into the possibility of vehicles that can hover just above the ground in order to create “frictionless movement.” No other details have been released, but until then, BTTF2 fans can channel their inner Doc Brown by hitching a free ride in a DeLorean in New York City on Oct. 21, courtesy of Lyft and Verizon. Just don’t attempt to drive 88 MPH, or you know what will happen next…
HAPPENED: Rejuvenation face masks
In the film, Doc peels off his skin and looks perfectly young. That idea of body obsession and plastic surgery has certainly made an impact in society today. From facials to peels and microdermabrasions, the number of choices are limitless.
DIDN'T HAPPEN: Abundance of LaserDiscs
If anyone still owns LaserDiscs in 2015, chances are they are covered in dust.
HAPPENING: Self-lacing shoes
Sometime in 2016, Nike will release a line of self-lacing, light-up sneakers similar to those worn by Marty McFly in BTTF2. The new shoes will feature “power laces,” in which motorized rollers in the shoe’s sole detect weight and tighten the laces when someone steps into the shoes, according to Nike’s patent.
DIDN'T HAPPEN: Princess Diana became Queen / POTUS is a woman
Nearly seven years after the movie’s release, Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, divorced, thus ending any possibilty of her becoming queen. (Sadly, she died in a tragic car crash in Paris in 1997.) And, though it won’t happen in 2015, there’s still a chance for the second news item to come true one day: a future female president. (Know anyone interested?) For more fun finds from the USA Today cover, head here.
DIDN'T HAPPEN: Pay phones on every corner
While the film predicted the upsurge of technology in the future, it did not expect the decline of pay phone usage.
DIDN'T HAPPEN: Robotic gas stations
The idea of having a robot tend to your gas-pumping needs remains a distant dream. Save for New Jersey and Oregon, where pumping your own gas is against the law, you’re still stuck filling up your tank in your boring non-flying car.
DIDN'T HAPPEN: Hologram movies
Moviegoers these days can’t get enough of 3D, IMAX, and even 3D IMAX films. It’s only a matter of time before the images on screen become holograms. One thing that BTTF2 did predict correctly, however, were sequels. Though Jaws 19 never happened, the limit to movie sequels seems almost endless in 2015.
HAPPENED: Hologram ads
Though hologram movies have yet to be made, ads of that nature have already emerged in recent years. From welcoming customers at a drug store, advertising in the aisles of a supermarket, or even raising awareness for an important issue, the realistic projections are well on their way to becoming the norm. Heck, they’ve already invaded the music world!
DIDN'T HAPPEN: Exercise machines at restaurants
The concept may sound silly, but it’s actually more surprising that this idea has yet to come into fruition given how health-obsessed people have become.
HAPPENED: Hands-free video games
When Marty approaches two kids playing video games at the diner, he picks up a handheld controller much to the confusion of the youngsters. “You mean you have to use your hands?” one of the kids asked the time traveler. BTTF2 predicted that the evolution of video games would eventually lead to gesture-based, wireless games.
HAPPENED: Pepsi Perfect
In the film, Pepsi Perfect is a vitamin-enriched soda at the Cafe 80’s in 2015. And in the real 2015, caffeine addicts can finally get their hands on the surgery, carbonated goodness. To celebrate the date of Marty’s trip back to the future on Oct. 21, 2015, the company is releasing only 6,500 bottles of Pepsi Perfect, which cost $20.15 each (get it?).
It was only a matter of time before one of the most iconic props from BTTF2 would become a reality. In June, Toyota revealed a prototype for the Lexus Hoverboard. According to Lexus, the Hoverboard implements liquid nitrogen cooled superconductors and permanent magnets to help achieve the levitation effect. (As for those hands-free scooters that have suddenly become trendy? “They’re not Hoverboards,” the film’s writer-producer Bob Gale recently insisted.) For those who can’t wait until the floating skateboard hits the market, you can always try your hand at the $33 DIY version.
DIDN'T HAPPEN: Self-drying clothes
Imagine a world where clothes dry in record speed after a sudden rain storm. Or all the time saved by forgoing the use of a dryer while doing laundry. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? That’s because it is.
DIDN'T HAPPEN: Chicago Cubs win the World Series
The Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908, which means they’ve had the longest championship drought in all four of the major North American professional sports leagues. Gale, a lifelong fan of the Cubs’ rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, is responsible for making the prediction in the script, which at the time, seemed to be an improbable scenario. Alas, the Cubs lost against the New York Mets in the 2015 National League Championship Series, putting an end to this BTTF2 prediction coming true. “What better way to give [Marty] the idea [of traveling back in time to profit from sports betting] than with a really outrageous scenario, which is the Cubs win the World Series?” Gale told ESPN.
HAPPENED: Major League Baseball team in Miami
At the time of the film, a Miami-based baseball team with an alligator as the mascot was completely fictional. But in 1993, that idea came to life when the Florida Marlins, based in Miami, debuted in the MLB.
DIDN'T HAPPEN: Monetary thumbprints
Marty was approached on the street by a city volunteer looking for donations to preserve the clock tower as a historic landmark. It was there he was asked to “thumb a hundred bucks” into an electronic reader. While the film predicted that street fundraisers would still exist, the notion that they’d use tablets to scan a person’s fingerprint in exchange for money is not close to today’s reality.
DIDN'T HAPPEN: Fax-machine mailboxes
Pac Fax was a public mailbox equipped with a built-in fax machine for people on the go. Though the filmmakers foresaw the need to deliver messages almost immediately, like the Pac Fax’s “.05 second service,” they didn’t expect the prevalence of e-mail to make fax machines nearly extinct.
DIDN'T HAPPEN: Robotic trash cans
The residents of Hill Valley can credit their pristine streets to the existence of Litter Bugs, which were mobile trash cans that traveled around town to provide easier access to anyone who wanted to throw away trash. Sorry, lazy people in the real 2015, you’ll have to keep walking a few extra blocks to the stationary trash bins on nearly every corner.
HAPPENED: Biometric technology
What seemed like a far-fetched idea when the movie first debuted has become a reality in the real 2015. The invention of biometric technology is here, with fingerprints granting us access to our cell phones and computers. And similar to how two police officers were able to bring the young Jennifer into her futuristic house in 2015 with the use of her thumbprint, similar technology is used today to gain entry into buildings.
HAPPENED: Wall-mounted flat screen TVs
One of the film’s spot-on predictions for the real 2015 was the presence of giant flat-screen TVs in the home. As for the placement of the TV behind the window curtains? Chalk it up to Marty and Jennifer’s futuristic take on decor.
HAPPENED: Multi-channel viewing
For sports fanatics, it’s hard to imagine what game day was like without the use of multiple screens broadcasting several games at once. In recent years, what BTTF2 filmmakers envisioned for high-def television viewing has come true.
DIDN'T HAPPEN: Ortho-lev machines
While at the McFly residence, George is hanging upside-down strapped into one of these devices in an effort to fix his back after claiming he “threw it out on the golf course.” In the real 2015, we’ll just have to settle for chiropractors and physical therapy.
DIDN'T HAPPEN: Voice-controlled fruit baskets
The Garden Center fruit dispenser in the McFly family kitchen was not only used to promote a healthy lifestyle, but it also served to encourage good manners. Marty Jr., in particular, was unable to get some grapes after calling out “Hey, fruit!” to the device. Instead, the voice-controlled gadget would only respond when he uttered the magic words “please” and “thank you.”
HAPPENED: Video glasses
The sight of Marty and Jennifer’s kids fixated on their technology at the dinner table hits a bit too close to home. Marty Jr.’s eyes are glued to a pair of video glasses, much like a combination of today’s Google Glass and Oculus Rift, which allow him to watch multiple television channels at once. Marlene’s gadget, on the other hand, was used to talk on the video telephone – think FaceTime or Skype. While both devices have become part of today’s culture, one detail in particular sets the film’s 2015 apart from the real 2015: Marlene had to cut her phone conversation short because Marty had to take a call from Needles and the McFlys only had one land line.
DIDN'T HAPPEN: Pizza hydrator
Wouldn’t it be nice to get a craving for pizza and have a large steaming hot pie within the blink of an eye? Keep dreaming. The Black & Decker hydrator Lorraine uses in 2015 was a voice-controlled kitchen appliance that instantly transformed a cookie-sized dehydrated Pizza Hut pizza into a family-sized meal. Until this magic device is invented, we’ll just have to settle for delivery.
HAPPENED: Video conference calls
During the time the film was made, the idea that someone could actually view a person on the other end of the line seemed more like space-age technology. But BTTF2 got this prediction right on the nose. Videoconferencing services are now available, and frequently used, on computers and cell phones.
DIDN'T HAPPEN: Fax machines in every room of the house
Clearly the BTTF2 filmmakers believed so much in the popularity of fax machines at the time, they foresaw the devices set up in nearly every room in a house. (Why did the McFlys need one in the closet?!) Though some businesses still use fax machines, a number of Internet-based alternatives that have been created in the years since has decreased their need for personal use.
DIDN'T HAPPEN: Double ties
Let’s just all agree that this look should never happen. Ever.
DIDN'T HAPPEN: Drone dog-walkers
Sure, drones currently exist and could technically walk a dog. But chances are more likely of there being an obstruction in the way, or a large dog overpowering the device’s strength. Sorry, dog owners – if your pooch can’t be lazy, neither can you.