Wednesday 21 October 2015

Back to The Future Day

I watched Back to the Future in 1985 and imagined a future like Marty McFly's. We had remote control TV, the home computer game Pong, video machines, games arcades and the Walkman - we knew this was just the beginning. I joined the 'Computer Club' and was amazed that after a long, careful and patient amount of typing in green that I could programme a machine to respond with the word 'Hello'. I knew this was the beginning of the future.

Who knew, though how the future would loop round? Record players are back again playing 'vinyl'. We have 'vintage' clothes shops, 'old school' music and 'classics' and 'antiques'. Books are still here, despite video and audio alternatives. 

Doc in 1955 sees a hairdryer in a future suitcase contents and asks 'A hair dryer? Don't they have towels in the future?' And he is right. There are things we don't need replacement for or the solution to the problem is not what we expect or a new need is identified.

What did Back to the Future predict?
  • Self drying coats? Coats with waterproof but breathable tech don't need to be - different solution.
  • Self-tying laces? Design of footwear like using Velcro instead is a different solution.
  • Big screens and video conferencing? We have it in PCs, flat screens, laptops and tablets
  • Hand held communication device? What are mobile phones?
  • We have holograms, glasses screens, thumb print recognition, dehydrated food, 3D, cosmetic surgery, drones and hands free video games. (see Gawker and The Independent)

So what if we don't have the hover board and electronic dog walkers, or flying cars...we have the Internet, medical science curing cancer and eco-friendly alternative power sources - not a bad trade.

As Marty says: 

"If you put your mind to it,
you can accomplish anything."

Now I can make my computer say so much more than just HELLO .

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