Technology

What 'Back to the Future 2' Got Right About Today's High-Tech Gadgets

Although flying cars and hover boards aren't around yet, there are a surprising number of innovations the film predicted that exist now.

By Nathan McAloneBusiness Insider
Universal Pictures / Photofest

In "Back to the Future: Part 2," our hero Marty McFly travels forward in time to save his children.

The day Marty goes to--October 21, 2015--is today.

And while "Back to the Future: Part 2slightly overestimated where we'd be in 2015--flying cars and hover boards aren't readily available after all--there's a surprising number of things that the film predicted that either already exist or are close enough that in two years it wouldn't be surprising to see them be reality.

From fingerprint scanning to video games that don't require controllers, here's the technology that the creators of "Back to the Future" correctly guessed in 1989. 

Not only did the movie get wearable computing right, they even included devices that look like a mix of Google Glass and the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset-- though they didn't address the Google Glass backlash.

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It's fair to say that when most people think of '80s computers, the Macintosh is the first thing that comes to mind.

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Computers that take orders via voice controls: Siri, anyone? And the new Apple TV emphasis on Siri integration makes it even weirder.

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News footage being filmed by a drone: Drone footage is increasingly common, though they didn't quite foresee the explosion in the amateur drone market.

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Super-thin advanced digital cameras? If anything, Doc Brown is a bit behind the times. Our phones are usually our cameras now too.

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While we might not watch six TV channels at once, Marty's son certainly has the same need for multiple streams of information as today's millennials. We just prefer them in rapid succession, on our phones, or via a dual monitor setup.

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The only thing "Back to the Future" missed with its representation of video chat is the annoying sounds Skype makes when you start and end a call.

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A mobile credit card reader? So that's where Jack Dorsey got the idea for Square! Square announced its plans to IPO just last week. 

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"You mean you have to use your hands? That's like a baby's toy!" In the the "Back to the Future" universe, the Xbox's Kinect motion-sensing controller is a huge hit.

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The movie correctly predicted the return of 3D to blockbuster films ... though the CGI in 1989 wasn't quite ready to portray it. And does this look suspiciously like "Sharknado" to you?

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The movie correctly predicted that fingerprint scanning would become a popular security feature. It first became an everyday technology when it was introduced in Apple's iPhone 5s.

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BONUS: A special message from Doc Brown himself, that came out today!

This post is an updated version of a previous post by Kyle Russell. 

This story first appeared on Business Insider

Published on: Oct 21, 2015