Sign in with Microsoft

If you’re any bit of a geek, sci-fi fan, or just someone who loves movies, today — October 21, 2015 — is “Back to the Future Day”, with Back to the Future 2’s 2015 date finally coming to life. In the movie, 2015 was a very different place, though, so what did the movie get right?

First of all, you need to know that while BTTF2 imagined 2015 as a futuristic world, it was a movie, and a fictional one at that about time travel, so let’s get something out of the way first off: these weren’t predictions.

You can bet that Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, and the rest of the creative team that produced the script, art, and built the movie didn’t try to make the most realistic flick they could. Rather, with the film produced in the 80s and released in 1989, they made 2015 have a bit of whimsy, with gadgets and electronics that could be eye popping and crazy, but still blend in with the whole “future” vibe the movie needed.


So Back to the Future 2 didn’t have predictions as such. It had ideas about what the future might have. How close did it get to what we have today?

Video phones

Let’s start with an easy one, with Marty — Michael J. Fox’s character — needing to take a call from a potential partner in crime and then his boss over a video call.

This actually happened, and video conferencing, despite having some rocky starts, eventually got off the ground when mobile phones received front-facing cameras.


Microsoft’s Skype also made dents in this area, as has Google’s video-connecting Hangouts and Apple’s FaceTime, and now anyone can talk on the phone by looking at the person on the other end.

Video calling still isn’t quite as common as audio-only calls, and most of us communicate using either text or voice, but this technology did come to life, and even stuck around.

Now the fax on the other hand…

Electronic faxing


Yeah, faxes still exist in the real 2015, but they’re used far, far less.

In the movie 2015, however, they were a big deal, used during the video conferencing scene of the flick, and even provided with a special mailbox set up around Hill Valley.

That thing on the left? That's a fax equivalent of the payphone.

That thing on the left? That’s a fax equivalent of the payphone.