Every Future Prediction From ‘Back to the Future Part II’ (And Whether the Movie Was Right or Wrong)Matt Singer |
We made it, guys. We made it to the future.
After years of internet a-holes trying to snooker people by passing off a bunch of fake dates as “Future Day” — when Marty McFly and Doctor Emmett Brown traveled into the future in Back to the Future Part II — this week we arrive at last at the real deal: October 21, 2015.
BTTFPII was released in the fall of 1989, one month and one day shy of 26 years ago. Co-writers Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale did their best, all those years ago, to try to predict what the world of 2015 would look like. In some cases, they were right on the money. In others, they were way, way off.
It’s pretty surreal to be living in the moment that you envisioned as a child, and to compare the fantasy to reality. That’s why, in honor of the real Future Day from Back to the Future Part II, the staff of ScreenCrush decided to undertake an ambitious assignment: To make a comprehensive list of every future prediction from the movie, and to determine whether or not those predictions wound up coming true. Everyone remembers the hoverboards and the flying cars, but Zemeckis and Gale’s future was an intricately detailed place, filled with dozens of inventions and innovations. We’ve catalogued them all below. Peruse them patiently while you wait for Black & Decker to finally make a pizza hydrator.
Prediction #1: Home Energy Reactors
After traveling to the future, Doc returns to 1985 in a DeLorean powered by “Mr. Fusion,” which is described on its surface as a “home energy reactor.” Somehow it turns garbage — banana peels, beer, empty soda bottles — into the 1.21 gigawatts used to fuel the time machine.
How Accurate Was It? Not very. Mr. Fusion sort of works like an incredibly efficient composter, and while composting is a lot more prevalent now than it was 30 years ago, it can’t be used to power a car, much less one that can fly or travel through time. Speaking of which...
Prediction #2: Flying Cars
Why sit in traffic when you can soar over it? Not only does Back to the Future Part II’s 2015 have flying cars, “hoverconversion” technology also exists to turn old non-flying cars into miniature planes.
How Accurate Was It? Not accurate. Cars still cannot fly. Not even smart cars.
Prediction #3: Silver Visor Sunglasses
When Doc picks up Marty and Jennifer for their trip to 2015, he arrives wearing a stylish pair of silver reflective sunglasses.
How Accurate Was It? Not entirely inaccurate. While Doc’s glasses aren’t exactly the look of choice for fashionistas around the world, they are widely available to citizens of 2015 concerned about protecting their eyes from the dangers of UV radiation.
Prediction #4: Strange Necktie Fashion
Doc augments his silver visor with a necktie made completely out of clear plastic — just one of several strange ties featured in the 2015 segment of Back to the Future Part II. The guy who wants to save the Hill Valley Clock Tower wears two ties that connect at the bottom in a weird cummerbund, and middle-aged Marty McFly wears two ties as well when he returns home and gets fired from his job.
How Accurate Was It? Quite inaccurate. Necktie technology has not advanced nearly as much as Zemeckis and Gale thought it might.
Prediction #5: Barcode License Plates
The flying DeLorean has a noticeably “futuristic” license plate when it arrives back in 1985. Apparently, the time machine is an officially registered vehicle in the state of California in 2015.
How Accurate Was It? Totally inaccurate. While barcodes have been added to some registration and inspection stickers, 2015 California license plates still look almost identical to the ones from 1985, with a few minor cosmetic changes.
Prediction #6: Sleep Inducers
In order to keep Jennifer from freaking out when she learns about the existence of time travel, Doc Brown knocks her unconscious with a small handheld device called a “sleep-inducing alpha rhythm generator.”
How Accurate Was It? Unless you count ZzzQuil, not accurate (although some patents have been filed for similar devices, none are available on the market).
Prediction #7: Ejection Seats
The fine print of the “Welcome to Hill Valley” sign that Doc and Marty fly past on their descent into Hill Valley of 2015 includes the phrase “Ejection Seats Save Lives,” which implies that automobiles now come equipped with ejecting seats in the event of mid-air collision.
How Accurate Was It? As much as I wish this was accurate, it is not.
Prediction #8: Incredibly Precise Weather Forecasts
Doc and Marty land in Hill Valley circa 2015 in the midst of a torrential rainstorm. When Marty notes the rain, Doc replies “Wait five seconds!” and on cue the skies clear and the sun shines. (“Too bad the post office isn’t as efficient as the weather service,” he adds.) The USA Today that becomes a huge part of the plot includes extremely detailed weather forecasts; it’s not clear whether meteorologists have gotten really good at their jobs, or if weather is now controlled and programmed by people.
How Accurate Was It? Well, they nailed the inefficient post office part! But the weather service, while improved from 25 years ago, cannot predict, down to the minute and second, when rain will stop or start, and it certainly can’t be perfectly programmed. (Yet.)
Prediction #9: Electrorejuvenation Treatments
In what is easily the single strangest moment in any Back to the Future movie, Doc Brown takes a few minutes out of his carefully-timed plan to alter Marty’s family’s destiny forever to reveal that he’s had extensive plastic surgery (at what he calls an “electrorejuvenation clinic”) where they took out some wrinkles and changed his blood, giving him many more years of life. He also peels off a disguise designed to make him look as he did before the procedure (although he looks basically the same, which is the joke of the scene).
How Accurate Was It? Pretty close to accurate, at least the part about plastic surgery. Electrolysis predates Back to the Future by many decades, but the sort of laser hair removal and anti-wrinkle treatments Doc’s referring to here become very popular in the late ’90s and early 2000s. (Obviously the part about wearing fake skin over your skin for basically no reason hasn’t caught on yet.)
Prediction #10: Digital Binoculars
While he’s in 2015, Doc Brown spies on people with the use of a small, handheld device that functions like a pair of high-tech binoculars.
How Accurate Was It? You can get “digital binoculars” in 2015, but they still basically look like regular old binoculars. And while Doc’s gadget does sort of look like a smartphone, it doesn’t have any of the functions of a smartphone (and you can’t hold a smartphone up to your eyes like that to see across great distances). So we’re going with “not accurate.”
Prediction #11: Sneakers With Power Laces
Marty’s disguise to look like his doofy son includes a pair of Nikes with futuristic self-tying laces.
How Accurate Was It? Somewhat accurate, but only as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Demand for these sneakers became so high after decades of Back to the Future Part II screenings that Nike finally made a special replica of the shoe in 2011. Even these special sneakers didn’t have real power laces, though; the world is still waiting for the first true pair of power-laced sneakers.
Prediction #12: Auto-Adjusting (and Self-Drying) Jackets
Marty’s 2015 ensemble also includes a red-and-black jacket that customizes itself to fit his frame with the touch of a button. Later, when he falls into a pond, it automatically dries itself with built-in fans.
How Accurate Was It? Inaccurate, but that’s probably not a terrible thing because this jacket (particularly those gigantic “adjustible” sleeves) are hideous. The self-drying part would be nice, though.
Prediction #13: Kids Will Wear Their Pants Inside Out
Doc instructs Marty to turn his jeans pockets inside out because “All kids in the future wear their pants inside-out.” (Later, when Marty Jr. enters the Cafe 80s, he is indeed wearing his pants the wrong way.)
How Accurate Was It? There was a brief, glorious period in the early ’90s when children all over this great land wore their clothes backwards, inspired by the young men of Kris Kross. That’s about as close as this one ever got to being correct. (Then again; maybe Zemeckis was anticipating the rabid success of the 2015 movie Inside Out? In which case: Bang-up job, Bob!)
Prediction #14: People Will Still Get Their News From Newspapers
To prove the severity of Marty’s domestic problem, Doc shows him a USA Today from October 22, 2015, announcing the arrest of his son, Marty Jr., for his participation in a robbery. Though the paper’s logo is updated to a more “futuristic” style, this is still recognizably a newspaper of the sort that men and women have read for centuries.
How Accurate Was It? Wildly inaccurate.
Prediction #15: Slamball
The USA Today that Doc hands Marty also features a number of additional headlines that predict a series of news stories and world developments. The top left corner mentions “Slamball playoffs.” Apparently, someone invented a sport called “Slamball” which, in the 25 years between Back to the Future Part II’s release and 2015, became one of the biggest sports in the country.
How Accurate Was It? Obviously slamball hasn’t replaced football or basketball in the hearts and minds of Americans. But SlamBall does exist; it’s a hybrid of basketball and trampolining that was featured on Spike TV for several years. Improbably, here’s one that BTTF actually got mostly right.
Prediction #16: The President in 2015 Will Be a Woman
Tucked into the sidebar on that USA Today front page is a headline that reads “President Says She’s Tired,” indicating that the Commander in Chief circa 2015 is, in fact, a woman.
How Accurate Was It? We haven’t had a female President yet. But there’s a fairly significant chance that we could have one in 2017, thanks to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Under optimal circumstances, Zemeckis and Gale were still off by at least two years, but let’s give this one a “pending” for now.
Prediction #17: The Cubs Will Sweep the World Series, Which Will Be a Best-Of-9 Format
Before Marty notices the big holographic sign in Hill Valley’s town square, announcing the Cubs’ win over Miami in the World Series, the Cubbies’ victory is splashed across the front page of USA Today. (Note that the Cubs winning the World Series is deemed less important than the start of Slamball playoffs.) The paper also says they swept “in 5” which means at some point between 1985 and 2015, Major League Baseball bumped up the number of games in the World Series from seven to nine.
How Accurate Was It? Completely accurate about Miami getting an expansion team (the Florida Marlins, who were created in 1993, and became the Miami Marlins in 2011). Completely inaccurate in the whole best-of-9 thing. As for the Cubs winning (or even sweeping!) the World Series, the jury’s still out. (They’re currently losing 2-0 to the New York Mets in the NLCS.) They won’t (and couldn’t) do it against the Marlins, who aren’t in the playoffs this year, and play alongside the Cubs in the National League anyway. Still, if the Cubs finally win the Series for the first time this year, after Back to the Future Part II predicted it 25 years ago, that would really be something.
Prediction #18: A Human Being Will Run a Three-Minute Mile
Still looking at that USA Today cover (it’s got a lot of stuff on it!), you’ll see someone named “Marshall” has managed to run a mile in three minutes flat.
How Accurate Was It? Way not accurate. The current world record for the fastest mile, set by Hicham El Guerrouj in 1999 is 3:43:13. That record’s stood for more than 15 years, and that’s still 45 seconds away from this Marshall’s time. He or she must be on the craziest performance-enhancing drugs of all time. Or maybe he or she has bionic legs like the person in...
Prediction #19: Baseball Pitchers Will Try to Use Bionic Arms
Another major sports scandal of October 21, 2015 was the case of a baseball player suspended for trying to use a “bionic arm.” It’s unclear how the player thought they could get away with that without someone noticing.
How Accurate Was It? Steroids were barely a blip on the radar of most professional sports in 1989; they weren’t even added to baseball’s banned substance list until two years later. So this prediction at least deserves some credit for anticipating the serious trouble Major League Baseball would get into with performance enhancers. And while there haven’t been any “bionic arm” issues in the MLB (that we know about, what are you hiding Jake Arrietta???), this isn’t too far off from the story of Oscar Pistorius and the debate over whether his artificial legs gave him an unfair competitive advantage and therefore should have disqualified him from competing in the Olympics). So in a roundabout way, this is another surprisingly accurate one.
Prediction #20: Cholesterol Will Be Found to Cure Cancer
Below the fold and the big Marty McFly Jr. story in USA Today was an article titled “Cholesterol May Be Cancer Cure.” Hilarious! No way that would ever be true!
How Accurate Was It? The headline of an article published in May of 2015, based on a study from the Journal of Biological Chemistry: “Cholesterol Could Aid in Fight against Cancers.” Wow.
Prediction #21: Princess Diana Would Become Queen of England
USA Today also reports on “Queen Diana” and her impending trip to Washington D.C.
How Accurate Was It? Diana divorced Prince Charles in 1996 and was killed in a car crash on August 31, 1997. In other words: Not accurate.
Prediction #22: Lawyers Will Be Outlawed
Reading from the USA Today, Marty discovers that his son was “tried, convicted, and sentenced to 15 years in the state penitentiary” all within two hours of his initial arrest. Doc explains: “The justice system works swiftly in the future now that they've abolished all lawyers!”
How Accurate Was It? Not accurate. Lawyer remains a popular (and legal) profession in the United States.
Prediction #23: Bionic Brain Implants
Bionics: In Back to the Future Part II, they’re not just for cheating pitchers! Supposedly, Griff, Biff Tannen’s grandson, also has some bionic implants in his brain; Doc tells Marty he’s got “a few short circuits in his bionic implants.”
How Accurate Was It? Brain implants aren’t as widespread as they appear to be in BTTFPII, but they’re not purely science fiction either. Here’s an article from last month in Business Insider called “People Are Getting Matrix-Style Brain Implants to Boost Their Memory.” Score another one for Zemeckis and Gale.
Prediction #24: Pay Phones Will Still Be Prevalent
Hill Valley’s townsquare is filled with state of the art technology, like incredibly advanced phone booths that look like they’re equipped with flat touchscreens.
How Accurate Was It? There are no cell phones in Back to the Future Part II, and pay phones of any size or shape are quickly going extinct (BTTFPII’s paper of record, USA Today, said in 2013 that there were only 243,000 in the U.S., down from more than 2 million at the turn of the century). So this one’s a miss.
Prediction #25: Mailboxes Will Now Come Equipped With Fax Machines
As Marty enters 2015’s Hill Valley town square, he walks right past a strange looking “Pac-Fax” mailbox, which has a large black box housing a small monitor attached to its left side. (Although never seen in action, this was supposed to be a fax machine, so people could send faxes in a hurry.)
How Accurate Was It? Extremely inaccurate. Mailboxes look exactly the same in 2015 as they did when the film was made. Faxes, while extremely advanced in 1989, have largely been replaced by email, smartphones, and scanners.
Prediction #26: There Will Be 19 Jaws Movies, and Steven Spielberg’s Son Max Will Inherit the Franchise
The Holomax Theater in Hill Valley is currently running Jaws 19, directed by Max Spielberg (Back to the Future producer Steven Spielberg’s real-life son).
How Accurate Was It? The last Jaws, 1987’s Jaws: The Revenge, came out before Back to the Future Part II was ever released and holographic movie theaters never happened (neither did Max Spielberg’s directing career). On the other hand, you could argue Zemeckis and Gale were anticipating the return of 3-D movies, and even if Jaws never got a 19th (or fifth) movie, Hollywood circa 2015 is more obsessed with long-running franchises than ever. So it’s not a swing and a miss; let’s call it a foul tip.
Prediction #27: Robotic Gas Stations
Where does a Hill Valley resident fill up their flying car? At a robotic gas station of course. The town’s Texaco boasts “Compu-Serve” gas (as opposed to self service or full service).
How Accurate Was It? Yeah no. We’re all still pumping our own gas in our non-flying cars like a bunch of chumps.
Prediction #28: ’80s Nostalgia Will Remain a Hugely Influential Force in Popular Culture
Marty’s meeting with Griff takes place at the Cafe 80s, a restaurant dedicated to preserving the pop culture of that glorious decade.
How Accurate Was It? 100 percent accurate. A huge amount of 2015 pop culture is dedicated to rehashing crap from the 1980s. Like, for example, this article.
Prediction #29: Giant Holographic Screens in Public Places
The western side of Hill Valley’s square features an enormous holographic screen, which showcases the details of the Cubs World Series victory, and a commercial for Goldie Wilson III’s “hoverconversion” business.
How Accurate Was It? Giant animated billboards are a common sight in many big cities, though the holographic component remains a bit out of 2015 technology’s reach. So this one’s an “almost.”
Prediction #30: Dead Celebrities Will Live On as CGI Avatars
The waiters in the Cafe 80s are all dead celebrities (although none were dead at the time of BTTFPII’s production) whose iconic 80s looks have been preserved as Max Headroom-esque computer avatars.
How Accurate Was It? Pretty damn close. Michael Jackson and Ronald Reagan haven’t become diner waiters yet, but Laurence Olivier appeared in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Fred Astaire danced with a vacuum cleaner.
Prediction #31: Restaurants Will Have Exercise Bikes
The counter of the Cafe 80s include several stationary exercise bikes, where Hill Valley denizens decked out in future clothes pedal along as they enjoy their meals
How Accurate Was It? Eating while you work out? Only if you want a million stomach cramps. Have Zemeckis and Gale ever even stepped foot in a gym before? We’re gonna go with “inaccurate with extreme prejudice” on this one.
Prediction #32: Pepsi Will Sell a Beverage Called Pepsi Perfect
The most popular beverage at the Cafe 80s is “Pepsi Perfect,” which comes in a futuristic bottle that Marty can’t figure out how to open. It isn’t made clear what makes the soda “perfect.”
How Accurate Was It? Only as another self-fulfilling prophecy. A few weeks ago, Pepsi unveiled their big attempt to capitalize on Back to the Future Part II fever by announcing a limited edition Pepsi Perfect bottle. 6,500 units will be sold (at the cutesy/exorbitant price of $20.15), “each outfitted in a special collectible case.” And now we finally know what makes it “perfect” — it’s made with “real sugar.”
Prediction #33: Video Games Will Become Hands-Free
Marty shows a couple of kids (including a very young Elijah Wood) how to play Wild Gunman a vintage arcade game. Despite his incredible accuracy, the kids aren’t impressed. “You mean you have to use your hands?” the first one says. “That's like a baby's toy!” the other moans.
How Accurate Was It? Every video game system on the planet still comes with a controller, and hands remain gamers’ primary way to play video games. Still, both the PlayStation and the Xbox have released sensors (the Move and the Kinect, respectively) that allow you to play selected games hands-free. So this one’s 50/50.
Prediction #34: Wearable Boombox Vests
One of the member’s of Griff’s gang wears what looks like some kind of wearable boombox and soundboard. When Griff calls Marty chicken, he clicks a key on his chest and a bird starts clucking.
How Accurate Was It? Although boombox technology has gotten much more portable (and “wearables” are supposedly the next great frontier in personal computing), Amazon does not currently sell a stereo vest.
Prediction #35: Telescoping Baseball Bats
Because everything in the future has been upgraded, wooden bats are now totally passé. Instead, Griff threatens Marty with a high-tech telescoping bat. (The bat, by the way, was a “Kirk Gibson Jr.”)
How Accurate Was It? Regrettably, none of the team in the Major League Baseball playoffs are wielding telescoping bats (maybe because none of the players have bionic arms).
Prediction #36: Hoverboards Will Replace Skateboards
The mother of all Back to the Future Part II predictions: The existence of hoverboards, which use unexplained technology to float and glide across any surface except water.
How Accurate Was It? Contrary to the insistence of Mike Mantella, the kid on my school bus who used to claim hoverboards were real but taken off the market after several children were injured while riding them, Mattel has yet to make a functioning hoverboard (although they have produced a detailed prop replica). But the concept continues to loom large in popular culture. There’s a promising looking prototype from Hendo, and while they’re not technically hoverboards, hands-free scooters like the IO Hawk have recently risen in popularity.
Prediction #37: People Will Use the Word “Bojo” as an Insult
Fleeing Griff and his goons, Marty makes the mistake of trying to ride his hoverboard over the courthouse pond. “Hey McFly, you bojo!” Griff’s boombox-wearing sidekick yells. “Those boards don't work on water!” (Urban Dictionary claims the word is short for “bone jockey.”)
How Accurate Was It? Very accurate. I call people bojos all the time.
Prediction #38: Michael J. Fox Will Look Exactly Like His Own Son
Doc’s entire plan hinges on the fact that Marty is the spitting image of his teenage son; they could almost be twins.
How Accurate Was It? Michael J. Fox’s son, Sam Michael Fox, definitely bears a strong resemblance to his dad (that’s him on the left there). But could a young Michael J. Fox put on a colorful hat and pass as that kid? Uh, no.
Prediction #39: Dust-Repellant Paper
When Marty buys the Grays Sports Almanac, the clerk at the vintage store comments that it’s unique because it comes with a dust jacket, something that’s now considered archaic because of “dust-repellant paper.”
How Accurate Was It? Office supply companies now offer a wide assortment of papers for your copying and printing needs, however “dust-repellant” is not one of them. And 2015 hardcovers still typically come with a dust jacket.
Prediction #40: Robot Photographers
Big news stories in 2015 are covered by robots that are known as “hovercams.” They have apparently replaced human photographers.
How Accurate Was It? Instantaneous news coverage is certainly part of our 2015, but it tends to come from people with smartphones, not hovering robots.
Prediction #41: Suspended Animation Kennels For Dogs
After Marty’s run-in with Griff, Doc returns with his beloved dog Einstein, who he says he’d left in a “suspended animation kennel” where time passes without the dog realizing their owner is gone.
How Accurate Was It? As the owner of a dog with separation anxiety, I can say with absolute certainty, that this was, regrettably, an inaccurate prediction.
Prediction #42: Thumbprints Will Become the Future’s Primary Means of Identification, Payment, and Door Locks
The world of 2015 doesn’t appear to work on cash; instead everyone pays for everything by giving their thumbprint (which, presumably, is tied to their bank account or credit card). Thumbprints are also used as IDs (as when the cops thumbprint the sleeping Jennifer and mistake her for her older self) and as a way to unlock doors; there’s no knob on the McFly’s 2015 house, which keeps Jennifer trapped inside until Doc arrives and tells her that if she presses her thumb to the plate next to the door, it will open.
How Accurate Was It? The last part is the most accurate; although not widely used, thumbprint door locks do exist (here’s one you can buy right now on Amazon). And the general prediction of thumbprints becoming a more prevalent currency in 2015 is right too; you can unlock your iPhone with a fingerprint thanks to the device’s “Touch ID” technology. The thumb-as-money thing hasn’t caught on yet, but it doesn’t feel very far off.
Prediction #43: Voice-Activated Lights
The McFly house in Hilldale features lights that turn on at voice command, even an accidental one. The cops who bring Jennifer home tell her “it’s dangerous to enter without lights on.” She replies “Lights on?” and suddenly the entire house is illuminated.
How Accurate Was It? Fairly close. You can buy voice-activated lights, and voice command technology is increasingly the norm; there’s Siri on your phone and the Amazon Echo which can answer questions about news, weather, and sports and play your music. (It also gets easily confused, like the lights in McFly’s house.) Zemeckis and Gale were definitely on to something with this one.
Prediction #44: Viewscreen Windows
Glass windows? Pssh! In 2015, windows have been replaced with viewscreens, giving you bright, sunny (easily changeable) views from all over the globe.
How Accurate Was It? I am going to call this one inaccurate.
Prediction #45: Michael J. Fox Will Look Exactly Like His Own Daughter
In addition to playing his own son, Michael J. Fox also plays his own daughter, Marlene. She, too, looks astonishingly like Michael J. Fox.
How Accurate Was It? Fox has three daughters. Two of them are in the picture above; Esme to the far left and Aquinnah next to her. Neither one would ever be mistaken for Michael J. Fox in a wig.
Prediction #46: Inverted Floating Back Braces
Old George McFly supposedly threw his back out on the golf course, and so when he arrives for dinner at his son’s house he’s strapped into an “Ortho-lev,” a kind of hovering inversion therapy brace.
How Accurate Was It? Inversion therapy and gravity boots are still around (they were really big in the 1980s, thanks to American Gigolo), but 2015 is still lacking the floating component. Basically, any hovering technology from Back to the Future Part II (and there is a lot of it) missed the mark.
Prediction #47: Multichannel Flatscreen Televisions
Marty Jr.’s first action as soon as he gets home from his busy day of getting beat up by Griff is to plop down in front of a giant, flatscreen television and watch a bunch of different channels simultaneously.
How Accurate Was It? Dead-on. The McFly’s enormous TV wouldn’t look out of place in a real 2015 home, and plenty of televisions now come with picture-in-picture or multiple channel functions.
Prediction #48: In-Home Pizza Hydrators
The McFlys don’t heat up their pizza in an oven or microwave. Instead, Lorraine sticks a tiny pizza into the family’s “Black & Decker Hydrator,” which spits out a normal-sized pie, piping hot and ready to eat.
How Accurate Was It? Well, you can buy dehydrated food if you really want to. But for the most part, it’s found in the pantries of astronauts, outdoorsmen, and emergency shelters (and pizza doesn’t show up on the menu much). The hydrator gadget itself is pure sci-fi.
Prediction #49: Video/Phone Glasses
Both Marlene and Marty Jr. are distracted at the dinner table by pairs of visors that seem to play television and are also hooked up to the house’s phone system; when it rings, they’re able to tell their dad who’s calling.
How Accurate Was It? Accurate. This is basically Google Glass.
Prediction #50: Ceiling Fruit Dispensers
With a simple command of “Fruit!” the “Garden Center” in the McFly kitchen descends from the ceiling, filled with a bounty of various fruits. (It’s not clear whether the Garden Center grows the fruits or has to be filled with goods from a grocery store.)
How Accurate Was It? Both inaccurate and impractical! No one has this primarily because no one would want this. If it’s housed in the ceiling, that means the space between floors would have to be at least five or six feet just to accommodate this monstrosity. Also, wouldn’t the fruit taste terrible after sitting in a dark, musty space between floors of a house all day? This is not one of Zemeckis and Gale’s better ideas; there’s a reason people still clamor for hoverboards and no one mentions the Garden Center.
Prediction #51: Video Phone Calls on Your TV
After dinner, Marty receives several video calls that he answers on the living room television.
How Accurate Was It? Accurate! Many cable companies now package phone service and cable together, and phone calls can be received through many televisions. In addition, most new TVs come equipped with Internet access, and work with video chatting services like Skype, making it very easy for Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to get ahold of you.
Prediction #52: People Will Have Fax Machines All Over Their Houses, Including the Bathroom
The video calls involve an illegal scheme Marty reluctantly agrees to take part in; he’s caught and immediately fired by his boss, who sends a “You’re Fired!!!” fax to every single machine in the McFly home. We see at least four of them; two in the living room, one in the kitchen (Lorraine brings it in) and one in the bathroom, where 1985’s Jennifer is hiding.
How Accurate Was It? Gale and Zemeckis grossly overstated the importance of faxes in most people’s lives, and grossly understated the role computers would play. It’s not inconceivable that someone would have had multiple fax machines in their house maybe 15 years ago, but today, few people would have one, let alone multiples, let alone some that are actually mounted onto their walls.
Prediction #53: Automatic Dog Walkers
While Doc tries to get Jennifer out of the McFly house, Marty waits nearby with the DeLorean, where he sees a dog being walked by a floating robot.
How Accurate Was It? I guess you could hook your dog up to a drone, and then remote control the drone as a dog walker (and apparently some people do this). So this is sort of accurate, but in a way that makes me nervous.
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