Six Back to the Future Innovations We're Still Waiting For

Anyone who is anyone has seen Back to the Future. You’ve seen the weird gadgets that were invented by the “Doc” and used by Marty McFly. But we can’t help but wonder where some of those gadgets that were dreamt up have been in our lives. We haven’t seen many of them yet. But we want them — we are still waiting.

So here’s a recap of some of the most memorable innovations from Back to the Future II:

 

1. Cars that Fly

The DeLorean is a staple of the movie’s success. But when they gave it wings, with its nuclear propulsion system and the necessary 1.21 gigawatts of energy to propel the car into time travel, the car became an emphatic view of the future we all envision: one with flying cars that don’t need roads. While there have been successful (and unsuccessful) tests of flying cars, we still don’t see them in the sky, which is utterly disappointing!

 

2. Fast Food, Really Fast

The hydrator machine was something that was easily forgettable, but not for a hungry guy like me who loves his pizza. The hydrator cooked up a pizza in mere seconds, revealing a yummy, cheesy, delicious delight that was too good to be true. While today’s microwave is fine and dandy, I think we really want our hydrators instead.

 

3. Weather With Accuracy

I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust weather forecasts — for the most part, they seem to be horribly inaccurate, and I seemingly do much better than professional meteorologists when taking a look at weather maps (okay, I’m bragging). But in the future, as it was envisioned in Back to the Future, we have extremely accurate weather forecasts that get it right to second. How amazing is that? Is it too much to ask for to have a little bit more accuracy?

 

4. From Wet to Dry

Speaking of the weather, remember when McFly’s vest automatically dried itself after the rain scene? That was impressive. And while I don’t think it is necessary to have all our clothes upgraded with auto-drying technology, it would be nice to have raincoats and jackets with a solution to going from wet to dry very quickly — perhaps without the dramatic blow-dryer effect.

 

5. Skateboarding, Without the Skates

But one of the coolest devices in the movie is, without question, the hoverboard. Granted, I would have been happy with a different color (or perhaps the kick-ass “Pitbull”), but the hoverboard that McFly managed to get his hands on was wicked cool. While there have been attempts at this sort of thing, it just isn’t the same as what was portrayed in the movie. But we are sure that one day we will see hoverboards. It’s only a question of when.

 

6. Breaking the Space-Time Continuum

Finally, the most important and problematic invention of the movie was the Doc’s discovery of time travel and the flux capacitor. Time travel is the one thing that truly might be impossible to ever be developed, but it is the ultimate power that anyone could ask for. While we won’t be visiting 1885 anytime soon, it is still a nice to think that, one day, we might be able to experience the past or future anytime we wanted.

[Images Courtesy of Universal Pictures]

Written by James Mowery

James Mowery is a passionate technology journalist and entrepreneur who has written for various top-tier publications like Mashable and CMSWire. Follow him on Twitter: @JMowery.
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Comments
  • http://tobyleftly.com Toby

    Really James, no mention of the pictured totally AWESOME fat tongue, self-lacing Nikes??

    • Crazrazarazaraz

      Nike released them!!, it was a special limited edition think a few years back…admittedly they wern’t self lacing though – but you can just get one of the many people bowing down to your amazing new shoes to tie them.

  • http://www.gpureview.com Steve McBarnes

    Marty’s vest was not self drying because it was not from the future. The jacket (with the long sleeves) he got to match his son was the clothing item that was self drying.

    • Jeremy

      In addition, the drying vest didn’t dry itself after it rained, it dried itself after marty jumped off of his board into the little pond to avoid getting pounded by Griff’s gang (I think his name was Griff – Biff’s grandson)

  • Lou Mason

    LOL, do want the hovering skateboard. that would be too cool!

    Lou

  • Alex B

    Hoverboard was real, a product by Mattel although discontinued due to “safety hazzards”. I read many years ago that the production company got a hold of a few of them and that’s what was featured (not throug the entire series thoug)

    • Bob

      Uh, that was a total BS story and people get laughed at that still believe the hype.

    • John

      Surely you’re kidding?
      Hoverboards aren’t real, have never been real and quite possibly won’t ever be real.

  • Roy

    How about Mr Fusion?

  • James

    And no mention of the dust repellent paper or Mr. Fusion?

  • http://philipclark.com Philip Clark

    How about the video phone?

    • Nick

      Video phones exist

  • Are you STUPID?

    PEOPLE CAN’T DRIVE ON THE ROAD. WHY THE HELL WOULD WE WANT THEM TO DRIVE IN THE SKY? SO THEY CAN FLY THEIR CAR INTO MY HOUSE??? AND DID YOU THINK ABOUT ROAD RAGE? Come on guy, don’t be stupid.

  • http://www.runningstrollers.co.cc running strollers

    I say “power” like that Asian guy whenever I get the chance. Nobody ever gets the reference. *sigh* I was born about a decade too late.

  • http://www.freecreditreportsinstantly.org/ Alia

    FTA “You’ve seen the weird gadgets that were invented by the “Doc” and used by Marty McFly.”

    which idiot wrote this? the only thing invented by Doc on that list was the flux capacitor.

  • http://www.hghtruth.org/ Doon

    The Pitt Bull.

    Because everyone knows that hoverboards don’t work on water, unless you got POWAH!

  • http://www.oneworldtosee.com/ Kyle

    When I was eight years old (and BTTF 2 was first released), I heard an interview with Zemeckis saying that hoverboards were real. I promptly talked my parents into taking me to Sears so we could buy one. No luck.

    I even had friends that claimed their ‘cousin’ had one and they played with it. Yet I could never find one.

    Bottom line: Zemeckis and kids are *****.

  • Damiam

    What about Doc’s glasses? They were like some type of HUD? Also autofitting clothes!

  • Randall Scott

    To the guy who said don’t be stupid, are you stupid? Flying cars will exist in the form of automated driver less situations. Cars are already moving towards being driver less, and more computer controlled. Once this is perfected it can be adapted into flying vehicles once they are invented and the safety will be fine.

  • http://wisepreneur.com Innovation Guru

    Not only should we have up to the minute weather forecasting, we should have to the neighborhood weather forecasting.

  • http://www.clippingimages.com/ shabnam

    When we will achieve them all :)

  • http://www.techwatch.co.uk/ Techwatch

    Come on wouldn’t the hoverboard be the biggest selling gadget of all time

  • http://www.kindnessinc.org/acai-max-cleanse-2 Chris

    Hey…that’s a great insight. I want a hydrator too. I love pizzas and hate waiting for them. Any idea where can I get a hydrator in Chicago?

  • http://www.solartronenergy.com Solar Power

    Marty’s vest was not identity aeration because it was not as of the expectations. The sleeve (with the lengthy covering) he got to contest his son was the fashion item that was self drying.