by Alexis Renae Neblett
“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” ~ Back to the Future
As the iconic Delorean rose into the air, a common curiosity about the future was explored. Not just any random year...2015... October 21, 2015 to be exact. Thirty years have gone by since Back to the Future’s sequel was released --thirty years of imagination. In 1989, Universal Pictures took a guess at what the future would be like, and what they gambled at is not too far off.
Let’s start with the obvious,
Flying cars: shouldn’t we be flying by now? Flying cars are almost necessary for a futuristic setting. Nothing says “the future” without some space traffic. Back to the Future was not alone in their prediction of flying cars in the 21st century. This, of course, hasn’t happened yet -- if it did I would’ve taken Flyer’s ED over the summer instead of regular old Driver’s ED; but thanks to Terrafugia, TomorrowLand is getting a little bit closer. They are working towards a self-flying car/plane, the TF-X, at this very moment with the projected end date between 2023 and 2027.
Hoverboards: I wish. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who wanted a hoverboard after seeing Marty McFly zoom around for a movie and a half. Scientists have been trying for some time now to design the technology; hoverboards actually do exist, even Tony Hawk rode one. That’s right folks, the hoverboard has arrived thanks to companies like Lexus and Hendo! But don’t float away just yet, we’ll have to make do with the segway until hoverboards are available for purchase….unless you’re ready to make your own.
Some other things from our futuristic wish list that didn't come true: instantly fitting jackets, eco-friendly nuclear fusion reactors (clearly we need something other than fossil fuel), Jaws 19 (thank goodness it stopped at Jaws III), dog walking drones, and food hydrators (from dust to pizza crust). Even so, none of this stuff is crazy far off; we are well on our way to the future.
Considering what the world looked like thirty years ago, Back to the Future’s screenwriters were almost spot on. Drones are everywhere. The 80s fashions are back. TVs can play channels 785, 900, and 42 simultaneously. Tiny cameras and video chat are commonplace. Video games with controllers might very well be for babies in a few years. Our world wide web connects us to everything. This is the future.
And like most sci-fi movies suggest, robots are taking over. We talk to them. We wear them. They’re taking our jobs and our attention away from loved ones--it’s pretty heavy. As the world becomes more and more robo-focused, I have to wonder if other predictions about the future are so far out.
For thirty years people have been thinking ahead to what 2015 could be like. Do we live in a ‘Jetson reality?’ No, but we’ve come a long way. It’s hard not to take for granted all the modern advancements there are around us. Marty McFly might have very well thought of this as the future, but to my generation, the Millennials, this is only the beginning. Even I weighed the chances of flying in cars and wearing those cool Nikes with power laces by 2015. I can’t say I’m disappointed with the results, but there is so much more room to grow.The future is what you make of it, and what you make. The tools are here. We can create the future --all we need is mindpower, active imaginations, and open eyes. So we’ll set our sights even higher, a future even greater. Today and everyday let's remember the past, consider the present, and take our imaginations back to the future.