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@NetworkWorld The "Future" is now - It is today (Back to the future)

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015 marks the day in which time-traveler Marty McFly arrives from the past (from the movie “Back to the Future Part II”. The Internet is freaking out about this upcoming “holiday”, and in the tradition of fake geeky holidays like “Star Wars Day” (May 4), Pi Day (March 14) and “Talk like a Pirate Day” (September 19), we now have a day to celebrate everything related to the time-travel movie, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Happy 2015, the year that Marty McFly visits the "future" in the 1989 movie "Back to the Future Part II". In the film, McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) travels from 1985 (the year the original movie came out) 30 years into the future, more precisely, Oct. 21, 2015.

As the world has approached the actual date, we've seen some photo memes go around via social media proclaiming that 2014 or 2013 was the year, but those were Photoshopped images. If you watch the movie, you can clearly see the date in the time machine when they visit the future.

The "future" of Marty McFly (as envisioned from 1989) showed us a lot of predictions about how the world would look - flying cars, robotic waitresses and fashion trends that leave our head scratching. Marty visits "downtown" Hill Valley, as well as his future home, and we got a glimpse of some of these predictions about how life would look in 2015. Now that we're here, what did they get right (or close to right)? What did they miss the mark on?

Mr. Fusion and nuclear energy
The Movie: When Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) first shows up in the movie, he refuels the time machine with garbage via his "Mr. Fusion" machine. Later in the future Hill Valley, we see other signs that nuclear  is commonplace. Of course, nuclear energy is needed to fuel the flux capacitor, not the DeLorean (which still requires gasoline).

Hybrid cars, electric cars
The reality: On the gasoline front, we've moved to a world where electric cars and hybrid cars (mixture of gas and electric) are becoming more commonplace. Fuel cells have been developed to create new battery-type energy for portable devices. But we still can't pick up a Mr. Fusion at our local Wal-mart.

Flying cars
The movie: The opening of the movie has Doc and Marty and Jennifer (Marty's girlfriend/future wife) flying in the DeLorean through a rainstorm on a busy "skyway". The last line from the original movie, "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads" tipped off that the future would be full of flying cars, and we see lots of them in the movie.

Self-driving cars
The reality: OK, 30 years later, we've seen some prototypes of flying cars, ones that aim to merge an airplane with a car vehicle, but nothing like those envisioned in the movies. In fact, a commercial in the early 2000s (featuring Avery Brooks) famously asked "Where are the flying cars? We were promised flying cars"). Ever since "The Jetsons", predictions of the future have included cars, cabs and trucks all flying around, while we remain stuck on the ground.
More impressive these days are robotic, self-driving cars, developed by companies like Google and others. Perhaps once the self-driving cars start driving on the highways, they'll be the ones that actually drive the flying cars of the future. Maybe in 30 more years.

Wearable, interactive visors (Doc Brown, Marty’s kids)
The movie: In the film, Doc Brown is driving with these metal glasses/visor-type eyewear, and at one point he points out that he thinks he saw a taxicab following him on the skyway (in fact, it's bad guy Biff following them, preparing to steal the time machine). This implies some kind of digital interface within the goggles (since you can't see through them). Later in the movie, both of Marty's kids are wearing goggles that include phones on them (Marty gets a phone call from his friend Needles), and Marty's son complains that his goggles/visor can only get two TV channels on them (seen on a deleted scene).

Google Glass
The reality: We're all fully aware of Google Glass and how you can receive information through the interface, whether you're driving or just walking around. It wouldn't take much to add footage from a rear-view dashboard camera into the interface to achieve the effect from the film.

3D movies and holograms
The movie: While walking around Hill Valley, Marty stops to look at a movie theater, where "Jaws 19" is playing, directed by "Max Spielberg" (a nod to Jaws director Steven Spielberg, also one of the executive producers of Back to the Future). A 3D, holographic shark comes out of the top of the theater and threatens to eat Marty, at which point Marty declares "the shark still looks fake."

3D movies
The reality: 3D movies, especially animated ones, are now commonplace, although they haven't taken off as much as filmmakers had hoped (remember when George Lucas was going to add 3D to all of the Star Wars movies, and we only got one?). However, 3D is likely here to stay. The Jaws movies only got to five versions, not 19 (and Sharknado doesn't count as an extension of those films).
On the hologram front we don’t have them coming out as advertisements from movie theaters, but holograms of dead celebrities have made public appearances in recent years – at Coachella in 2012, a hologram of Tupac Shakur performed, and a Michael Jackson hologram performed at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards.

Video games and gesture control
The movie: In the "nostalgic" '80s Cafe (which I'd totally go to, by the way), Marty spots two kids messing around with an arcade game called "Wild Gunman", which is now a "classic". The kids don't know how to play, so Marty grabs the gun controller and shoots a bunch of the bad guys (the game is a hint about the third film, in which Marty goes back to the 1880s and the Wild West). The kids are disgusted, saying "You have to use your hands? That's like a baby’s toy!”. There’s also a Pac-Man machine in the cafe with a sign on it that says “Do Not Touch - Priceless Artifact.”

Gesture control is here
The reality: Gesture-control and non-hands video game playing is available via the latest generation of video game consoles, including the Xbox Kinect and Playstation Move (with its camera). It would have been interesting to see what the future kids were actually playing (like in Marty's home), but this semi-prediction was somewhat accurate.

The hover-board
The movie: During the part where Marty is being chased around town by Griff and his gang, we see Marty on a hover-board - a callback to the first film, in which Marty inadvertently invents the skateboard (in 1955).

No hover boards
The reality: No hover-boards from Mattel just yet, but people are trying. Researchers have created a hover-board-like device that uses electromagnetic power on a ramp, and even skateboard legend Tony Hawk has tried it out. The unit is large and can only be used on that specific surface, so there's probably a few more years before we see these being sold in Toys R Us.

You can see more points in http://www.networkworld.com/article/2861518/data-center/the-future-is-now-well-in-october.html

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