When the far-fetched is no longer fantasy

Written by: admin

Back to the Future Part II crashed into our lives almost 23 years ago, complete with hoverboards, facial recognition software, and a baseball team based in Miami.       Back to the Future, Part II Movie Poster

With 2015 not far off on the proverbial horizon, we thought we’d take a look at what Back to the Future Part II got right, and what has not quite made its way into our cultural lexicon.

Despite being produced in the late 1980s, the film featured some remarkably prophetic products and habits made possible by new technological advancements. These include watching multiple television channels simultaneously, video conferencing, targeted video advertising, and cameras with facial recognition software around every corner everywhere. Not to mention a Major League Baseball team taking up root in Miami and controller-free, hands-only video gaming.

On the other hand, the creative brains behind Back to the Future Part II did not envision the impending demise of telephone booths, landlines, and the newspaper industry. Characters did not have mobile phones, but did have laserdiscs! And sadly, hoverboards, flying cars, and food hydrators still remain lodged in the imaginations of movie makers.

Other science fiction or fantasy movies and television shows have accurately shown us the future long before it became reality. Write to us on Facebook or Twitter to tell us about the on-screen technological wizardry that first caught your attention in the movie. Is it now part of our lives or maybe it will be back in the future?

The statements and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the event participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for this event or of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.