It's 2015 — this newspaper has a website now
It's 2015 — this newspaper has a website now

Back To The Future 2: now that we've arrived in 2015, how much did the film get right?

Back To The Future: Part II was released in 1989, and made some bold predictions about 2015. That past version of the future is now our present — so how does it measure up?

Andrew Griffin
Friday 02 January 2015 17:50

It’s 2015, the year of the glorious high-tech future predicted in Back To The Future: Part II. And the year of endless comparisons to the 1989 film — so how much did it get right?

Its fashion calls might have been wrong — most people aren’t wearing weird silver hats or coats with what look like black post-it notes on. However, the tech predictions were mostly right — with some exceptions.

But Doc, Marty and Jennifer arrived on October 21st, 2015. So we’ve got another 292 days and counting to come up with self-drying clothes and hoverboards.


3D films

The film was right that we’ve been subjected to endless sequels — the 3D film in Back To The Future was Jaws 19 — and we have started to watch them in 3D.

Video calls

The video calls in the film take place on a much bigger screen, but otherwise the prediction was absolutely correct. But we’ve been having them for so long, and they’ve become so ubiquitous, that they don’t even feel especially cutting edge any more.


We might not be ready to sit around the breakfast table talking to each other using glasses — but we have the technology. Google Glass is the most famous of technology that fits into glasses, and other companies are hoping to make their own.



We’ve given this one our best shot — Kickstarter after Kickstarter campaign has attempted to finance a hoverboard. And you can make your own by attaching a leaf blower to a hoverboard.

We’ve even created one using the method envisioned in the film. The Hendo uses a magnetic field ot generate lift, and was launched on Kickstarter in October.

But we’re hardly riding them regularly, and most are pretty inflexible. But it’s possible that we could have them by October — here’s hoping.

Power laces

Another popular Kickstarter idea that hasn’t yet come to proper fruition — and perhaps another invention that we only really want so we can live in the future of Back To The Future.

Nike has indicated that some version of the shoe could appear in 2015, but the big and bulky shoes are likely only to be worn by those who want to feel like they live in the film’s world.

Likewise, no indication that clothes that dry themselves are on the way.

Flying cars

Flying cars have become something of a joke among people complaining about the state of technology — smartphones and so on are all very well, but we were promised that our cars would also be able to lift off. There are examples of flying cars, and some of them are very swish. But they remain very expensive and rare, and are likely to stay that way for some time. It’s not even clear that they could ever be common, given how hard it is to fly and how difficult it is to predict air currents.


The people in the film communicate through faxes — and completely miss that by the real 2015 we wouldn’t need to print anything at all, given the rise of smartphones and tablets. As such, this might be the biggest miss — perhaps the most important piece of technology in 2015 is missing from the film entirely.

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