Back to the Future II Takes Place This Year. How Close Did We Get?

By Matt Novak on at

Every decade produces iconic pieces of futurism that help to define a generation. For the 1960s it was The Jetsons and Star Trek. For the 1970s it was Future Shock and Soylent Green. What about the 1980s? It was almost certainly Back to the Future Part II.

Sure, Back to the Future Part II didn't get great reviews when it first came out. The 1989 film was seen as a lesser achievement than the original Back to the Future. But it became firmly wedged into the brains of a generation that wanted to believe the future was going to be filled with amazing technological advances.

I know I wanted to believe. It's half the reason I write about past visions of the future! When I was a kid I wanted nothing more than that hoverboard Marty zips around on. But BTTF2 was more than just hoverboards.

It's now the year 2015 (the year that Marty McFly travels to in the film) and we're launching a new series with American Public Media's Marketplace Tech, looking at the different futuristic aspects of the movie.

You can hear the first episode in our series below, and feel free to let us know what your favourite BTTF2 technology is in the comments. Was it the automatic dog walker? How about that thumbprint payment system? Some of the technological predictions were spot on, while others are still yet to be realized. We'll be exploring many of them in the next few months.