How much did 'Back to the Future' get right about October 2015

Oct 21, 2015 12:06 PM by CBS News

In the 1989 sequel to "Back to the Future," Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel to this day, October 21, 2015. How does the movie vision of the future look now? In some cases quaint, in others prescient. And when it comes to hoverboards ... we're still trying to keep up.

Garbage-powered cars

Just as Marty returns from 1955 to his real life in 1855, Doc Brown swoops in to whisk him away again. This time, the DeLorean is souped up with a Mr. Fusion device that converts garbage into energy for the now-flying time machine.

Though carmakers have been focusing more on electricity than banana peels, we've made some headway in trash-as-gas technology. Environmentalists were driving cars powered by used vegetable oil over a decade ago. In a newer twist, Britain last year started running routes on a Bio-Bus with fuel derived from food and human waste (i.e. poop).

But in the fake future as in real life, cars still mostly need to run on gas. Mr. Fusion only powers the flux capacitor and the time circuits.

Facial recognition

Just after landing, Doc uses facial recognition to spy Marty Jr. on the street -- complete with the green boxes we're now so accustomed to seeing when we take pictures on our smartphones. Today, facial recognition is used constantly -- to tag people in pictures on social media, to look for wanted criminals or shoplifters, even in churches. Facebook has gotten so good at tagging people, it can recognize you without even seeing your face. Microsoft's Windows 10 software can tell identical twins apart.

Auto-lacing shoes

Somehow it's 2015 and we're still tying our own shoes like suckers.

We've got sneakers that can track your child's meanderings and inserts that can monitor your workout, but we've yet to get kicks that actually lace themselves up like the ones Marty Jr. sported in the movie. For its part, Nike did release limited edition replicas back in 2011. The company auctioned off 1,500 pairs of Nike Magson eBay, with proceeds going to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's research.

Excitement started up again recently in the hopes that Nike would come out with power-lacing high tops this month.

We can't really give the movie credit on this one, but we can thank Nike for trying to make our dream a reality.

Immersive 3D graphics

Was the holographic "Jaws" that attacked Marty outside a movie theater a sign of things to come? From "Avatar" to Oculus and Google Cardboard to 360-degree video on Facebook and virtual reality in Netflix, we're getting pretty immersed in this whole immersive video thing.

Robot waiters

At Cafe 80s Marty could order a Pepsi from a robot waiter. Today, robots can sell you coffee, check you into a hotel and even buy an iPhone for you.

And while we're at the counter, kudos to Pepsi for coming out with Pepsi Perfect, the prescient pop served at the futuristically retro restaurant. Wednesday, the company made 6,500 collectible Pepsi Perfect bottles available online for $20.15.



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