Great Scott! It’s October 21, 2015, which means it’s “Back to the Future” Day, and the future is now.

“Back to the Future Part II” was released in 1989, and writers Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale put some high expectations and predictions of what the future would hold in 2015. Since then, film fans have been waiting for the “future” to arrive to see what actually aligns with today’s technologies and advancements and what does not.

In the movie, Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel to the future on October 21, 2015 and come across a world of new inventions and high-tech gadgets that seem pretty “out there” to the 1980’s audience. While the creators missed the mark on some things, they were right on the money for others.

Let’s get to the good stuff and see what became reality and what remains to be seen.

“This is Heavy, Doc.”

  1. Prediction 1: Fingerprint Technology will exist – Yes! Future Jennifer users her finger to get access into her home instead of a traditional key. We may not open doors with just a touch yet, but we are able to make purchases on cellphones with the touch of a finger and lock and unlock phones for security.
  2. Prediction 2: Flying cars will replace traditional cars – “Where we’re going, we still need roads.” The main mode of transportation for the Hill Valley residents was flying cars; we have made progress in this space, but not quite there yet.
  3. Prediction 3: Video calls will exist – You bet! Adult Marty was able to chat with his buddy Needles in the future, and today, adults, kids, grandparents communicate daily through Facetime and Skype at relatively low fees.
  4. Prediction 4: Power laces will tie shoes for you – Not quite. We are still tying our shoes one foot at a time, or wearing sandals to forego the whole idea altogether. However Nike teased the idea back in January of this year that a power-lace shoe will be released in 2015.
  5. Prediction 5: 3D movies will be common – Absolutely, yes! 3D movies are common thanks to IMAX 3D and its special glasses; everyone is still awaiting the anticipated “Jaws 19” to hit a theaters near you.
  6. Prediction 6: Hoverboards will exist – Kind of… most people were imagining skateboarding in the air, like flying cars, but we are getting closer with hands-free segways.
  7. Prediction 7: Wearable technology will exist – Right! Marty’s future kids are preoccupied at the dinner table as they watch TV through their wearable technological devices. Google Glass has extended far beyond just TV, including writing emails, taking pictures, and answering phone calls all by a single swipe or tap.
  8. Prediction 8: The Cubs will win the World Series – Maybe! In the film, Marty reads in the newspaper that the Cubs won the World Series in a 100-to-1 shot against Miami. When “Back to the Future Part II” came out, the Marlins hadn’t joined the national league, so the creators were right on the predicted expansion. As far as the Cubs winning, only time will tell.

Technology advancements and Humans

The creators of “Back to the Future” had some pretty accurate predictions for future technologies and where they thought the world was headed.

It’s interesting though – did most consumers or business owners predict that people would still be the ones controlling these new technologies and not robots?

Businesses are still run by humans and have technology to better manage and help with the day to day. Preventive maintenance is one of those tactics; preventive maintenance involves regular and systematic application of engineering knowledge and maintenance attention to equipment and facilities to ensure their proper functionality and to reduce their rate of deterioration. It also means that regular examination, inspection, testing, and adjusting are necessary for all assets on a daily basis.

electronic technical support concept – spanners on computer keyboard

These procedures are still being performed by workers, however through the use of an EAM/CMMS, workers can spend more time adjusting and fixing the issue rather than finding it. Business owners are looking for the smarter way to protect their assets and save money because reactive maintenance isn’t cutting it.

Reactive maintenance calls for downtime and unhappy customers or guests depending upon your industry, and in most cases costs a pretty penny to fix.

Robots may not be fixing our problems or handling the day to day, but preventive maintenance could through the use of an EAM/CMMS.

In the words of Doc Brown, ” The future is what you make it.”