The “future” envisioned by Robert Zemeckis in Back to the Future II has come and gone now, however, the technology remains influential and entertaining to this day – even though we’re five years past their future.
Some of the technology seen in the sequel has actually been invented. However, most of it has not.
So we have gone through the movies technological innovations and we have ranked them based on both their potential usefulness in real life and whether they are cool or not. We tried to include everything we could find, but get excited about what is first – you’ll never expect it.
31. Mini fax machines – While this idea is somewhat cool, it has been around a decade since fax machines have really been useful, so we don’t think a smaller version is anything extraordinary.
30. Digital Card Reader – This idea is very similar so some tech pieces we already have, but they don’t truly explain what it does and it is bulky, so it isn’t our favourite.
29. Street level street lights – While this innovation may be more to do with providing lighting for the movie rather than an actual prediction for the future, but instead of tall poles, the streets of Hilldale were lined with blue lights – we don’t think they do enough to rank highly.
28. Voice-activated appliances – This appears to be a helpful device, but also somewhat annoying. Similar devices are already a part of our lives in many ways, including microwaves and other appliances.
27. Fresh fruit terrarium – We’re unsure if something like this exists currently, but there is a possibility it does.
26. Thumbprint identification – Multiple scenes in the film show characters using thumbprint ID. This is something extremely useful, but most people have it on their phones now.
25. Scene screen – This replaces your windows with beautiful scenic views. This is something that could easily be made today, but the idea is still cool.
24. Telescoping baseball bats – This idea is somewhat strange, but could potentially be useful.
23. Video phone – We basically use this every single day now, however, the difference is that in the movie, they give personal information about each other.
22. Computer waiters – This is another innovation that removes jobs for humans, but there are versions of this in the real world.
21. Glasses with rear display – These actually do exist, but they aren’t as good as you’d expect.
20. Super binoculars – Although this is a huge violation of peoples privacy, this invention is cool and we have created less impressive versions already.
19. Gas pumping robots – Wouldn’t we all love to have a robot fill our tank for us?
18. Holograms – This has potential, but it is somewhat lacklustre in the movies.
17. Self-lacing shoes – This is such a cool idea, however, Nike has been attempting to perfect this concept – but they’re still bulky and not as sleek as in the movie.
16. Dust repellant paper – We don’t get much information about this as it’s only mentioned briefly, but it’s interesting.
15. TV and phone glasses – We’re not sure these would actually be useful in the real world, but the idea of having glasses that act as a phone and television is cool.
14. Pepsi Perfect – We don’t know what this is, but it’s intriguing.
13. Robot Dog Walker – Instead of having to walk your dog at midnight so they can go to the toilet, it would be fantastic to have a robot who could do it for you.
12. Smart Jacket – The smart jacket suggests that filmmakers thought that our clothing would be very similar to our technology.
11. Litter bug – The idea of having a robot bin to find you when you have trash is very beneficial.
10. Hydrator – While this device isn’t necessarily beneficial besides space-saving, it is such a cool idea.
9. Sleep-inducing alpha rhythm generator – Who doesn’t love the sound of a device that can immediately put you to sleep?
8. Robot new reporters – You can assume from the robots flying around, the reporters (or maybe photographers) have been replaced. This is a great way of getting news and footage of things humans can’t access and is actually possible for drones we currently have.
7. Ortho-Lev – While we’re unsure what this is actually doing, it looks really awesome and seems to help McFly out well.
6. Upgraded weather service – No one knows how it could be possible, but the idea of predicting weather down to the second is exciting.
5. Hoverboard – Unfortunately, hoverboards don’t exist yet. It is without a doubt the most famous and loved innovation in the movie. However, this is not the best on our list, as you’d only really have fun with it if you already knew how to use a skateboard.
4. Flying cars – Flying cars are one of the coolest innovations in the movie – it would solve traffic and travel would it quicker and easier.
3. Mr. Fusion – This is one we wish was real – not only does buying fuel suck, but it used up the garbage that is filling up the planet in a better way.
2. Lawyer-less justice system – In the film series, lawyers have been abolished, leaving a system that tries and sentences people within hours. In reality, this is something that takes months, if not years. The idea of streamlining the justice system could completely alter the world.
1. Health Rejuvenation – Our favourite piece of technology is one that you never actually get to see in the movie – Doc Brown only mentions that his health was rejuvenated – not only making him look younger but also replacing damaged organs that could add decades to his life expectancy. While all the other innovations (such as hoverboards) are cool, this is something that could lengthen lifespans, which is something extraordinary.