Are we living in “Back to the Future II” yet?

Peyton Duplechien • 21 Oct 2019 • 3 min read

Oct. 21, 2015 was a very important day in pop culture. It was the day that Marty McFly and Doc Brown time traveled to in Back to the Future Part II. It was a fun day to see what the movie got right and what it got wrong when predicting 26 years into the future. That’s right, the was released in 1989 – 30 years ago! So let’s take a peek at what the movie got right and what it got wrong, and if any of it has come true since this special holiday was first celebrated four years ago.

What is absolutely got right

Plasma screens

Considering the rise and ultimately overtake of plasma TV screens didn’t begin until the late 90s, this was a fantastic prediction. However, plasma technology had been around since 1964, so the movie was drawing on some inspiration.

Video calls

Yep, we’ve got Skype, FaceTime and other ways to chat face to face!

What it got right – sort of


Somewhat. It predicted a higher use of robot technology, which we are seeing more and more of these days – drones delivering packages, self checkout at retailers, but as far as robots walking dogs and waiters being replaced by TV screens? Not quite there yet. Although self-ordering at fast food and fast casual restaurants is starting to crop up!


Scanning fingerprints to check identities? Yep! We definitely have that technology. Scanning eyeballs in the domestic realm? Nope. The McFly’s house has a scanner instead of a doorknob and although we aren’t there yet, keyless entry (controlling locks via smartphone) is becoming more mainstream in homes.

News and information

The year 2015 was still predicted to be a paper-filled world. Daily delivery of thick newspapers and fax upon fax was not a reality in the actual 2015 and is still not the case today in 2019. We are moving to an increasingly digital lifestyle and while paper is still around, it’s not as relied upon as it once was.


This was a close prediction to Google Glasses. In the movie, nearly everyone has a pair of futuristic glasses that have a camera function, magnification capabilities and access to (in the movie) some type of database of information – perhaps the Internet? Ummm, sounds like Google Glasses to me!

What it absolutely got wrong

Flying cars

While the self-driving Tesla is innovative, it’s still highly elite, 100 percent imperfect and most certainly has its wheels on the ground.


We can’t call the hoverboard of late similar technology to what was dreamed up in the movie. The present hoverboard may give the person on it the appearance of hovering, but sadly, this toy does not defy gravity.

Cell phones

The movie does not have any references to cell phones and given how we are all basically addicted to our smartphones now, this was a huge miss.

Self-tying shoelaces

While Nike released a lookalike version of Marty’s sneaks in 2011, sadly, they were not the actual equivalent.

Predicting the future is tricky, but not for our live answering service

It’s fun reflecting on what the movie got right and wrong. You have to give the creators of Back to the Future II credit for making some pretty decent predictions. Here at VoiceNation, we made a prediction, too, back in 2009. We saw that automated phone answering services would eventually taper out. People want to human interaction as part of their customer service. Which is why we are an award-winning live answering service. Our virtual receptionists are the face of your business when your customers and leads call. If you want to never miss a call again, you need VoiceNation. Want to learn more? Give us a call at 877.679.3777.