Are we in the future predicted by TV and movies yet?

Are we in the future predicted by TV and movies yet?
In Back To The Future II, Marty McFly visited the year 2015 from 1989.

Popular time-travel movie Back To The Future II was set in 2015. In 1989, when it was released, the future was 26 years away and anything seemed possible.

Shoes could lace themselves, people would travel on hoverboards, the list goes on. Unfortunately, not everything became reality. (Unless we can create everything by October 21, the date Marty McFly visited 2015). We take a look at some of the movie's predictions, as well as other popular shows, to see if any came to pass.

Back To The Future II

1) Flying cars

You could hover-convert your car for US$39,999.95 and traffic congestion would not be a problem, according to Goldie Wilson III, owner of Wilson Hover Conversion Systems, in the movie.

The good news-flying cars are a reality. The bad news-the estimated base price of one of these is US$279,000 (S$374,400) before any prevailing tax, and you have to join the queue to own one of these.

American aircraft manufacturing company Terrafugia is in production for an aircraft that can fold its wings so the vehicle can meet legal requirements for driving on public roads.


2) Powerlacing sneakers

In the fictional 2015, Nike had a pair of shoes named the Air MAG that laces up on its own. Don't need to worry about your laces coming undone with these.

Fans may not sink their feet into a pair of Air MAGs yet, but in 2008, Nike released a limited-edition Nike Hyperdunk McFly resembling Air MAGs. In 2011, to raise funds for the Michael J Fox Foundation, Nike created MAG shoes with glowing LED lights.

Air MAGs may still be a possibility as Nike had filed a patent for self-lacing shoes in 2010. If function is your main aim, Canadian company Powerlace has created a Kickstarter to fund production for their auto-lacing sneaker prototype.


3) Video games that require no hands

"You have to use your hands? That's like a baby's toy."

When Marty shows two boys how to play the shooting arcade game Wild Gunman, they left dismissing the game because it required a controller.

While you can't exactly use your brain as a game controller yet, there are several game sets that don't use handheld controllers. Xbox Kinect and Playstation Eye have gesture recognition technologies that allow users to play games such as Just Dance and Kinect Sports through body movements.

Maybe closer to the movie's headsets is the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset that tracks your head movement for game control.


4) Hoverboard

It looks similar to a skateboard and it hovers over the ground, as its name suggests. However, different hoverboards have different capabilities, for example the Mattel hoverboard Marty used did not work over water.

In 2012, Mattel created 1:1 scale models of the film's prop including similar sound effects. Unfortunately, it doesn't hover or glide.

There is still a possibility for hoverboards on the horizon. American architect Greg Henderson and controls engineer Shauna Moran created a prototype that uses electromagnetic stabilization. They created a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds and the first versions is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2015.


5) Fax machines

When Marty was fired, his boss sent him a fax which was sent through to the several fax machines in his home. The faxes were still printed using a dot matrix system.

In 2015, fax machines still exist, but mainly in offices. If your boss wanted to fire you via message, he would most probably email or send a text.

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