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12 of Back to the Future’s biggest 2015 predictions, in one chart

Let's judge a fun sci-fi movie by accuracy and plausibility!

One of the internet's favorite pastimes has been combing through Back to the Future Part II's many, many predictions about what 2015 might look like. As October 21, 2015, crept closer, many bemoaned our lack of hoverboards and self-drying coats, and the fact that we're still driving on the ground like suckers. But now that 2015 is here, it turns out that not all of the predictions were so far off, after all.

Here are 12 of the predictions from Back to the Future Part II's version of 2015, organized by plausibility and accuracy. (It sounds dry, but we like to think Doc Brown would approve.)


In 1989, when Back to the Future Part II was released, director/co-writer Robert Zemeckis and co-writer Bob Gale could have been excused for thinking the height of technology and luxury would be fax machines in every room. They were, however, mistaken.

Other technological guesses were more spot-on, even if they seemed outlandish at the time. Thumbprint technology is a standard feature for new iPhones, the McFlys' "video glasses" are just some combination of Oculus Rift and Google Glass, and video chat is, as the kids would say, basic.

As for hoverboards ... well, Segway has given it a valiant effort, but levitating is still out of our general reach. Lexus, however, has been working on one all year, and re-upped its video tutorial on how to work its "Lexus Hover."

According to Wired (which also has a breakdown on a few other promising hover candidates):

"The Lexus hoverboard relies on superconductors and magnets, which work against gravity to lift board and rider above the ground. That cool-looking steam coming off of the sides isn’t decorative; it’s liquid nitrogen, cooling the superconductors to -321 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature at which they become superconducting."

It all sounds very cool, and well on its way to becoming a real thing — but if that were true, we'd have very little to complain about for Back to the Future Day, and that's no fun at all.

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