Unless you’ve been subjected to a sleep-inducing alpha rhythm generator, chances are you’ve heard that today, October 21, 2015, is “Back to the Future Day,” aka, the future date Doc and Marty McFly travel to in the classic 1980s film, “Back to the Future Part II.”
While much is made of the lack of flying cars, hoverboards and the Cubs winning the World Series (unless they mount a miracle NLCS comeback starting tonight), there’s plenty the filmmakers got right…especially when it comes to our homes.
Today’s tricked-out smart homes are on par with, if not 1.21 gigawatts ahead of, anything the McFly’s 2015 home had.
Judging from the list below, the Back to the Future home is here in a big way, and even better than our imaginations could conjure up.
To enter their home, the 2015 McFlys used their thumbprints instead of a doorknob.
While most people still use the trusty old lock and key method, smart locks and keyless entry systems are readily available, and there is even a fingerprint lock on the market. However, technology today is a bit more advanced than BTTF foresaw and we’re more dazzled by the August Smart Lock, which opens the door with your phone (or Apple Watch) and allows you to create virtual keys for your guests.
2015 Marty receives a phone call at home, which he takes on his big screen TV.
Today, you can answer calls on your TV thanks to Skype, which works on some smart TVs, as well as through Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s Playstation. But again, that’s just the beginning. Earlier this year, Facebook introduced video calling in Messenger and with FaceTime, the Apple Watch and various smartphone apps, video calling is literally in the palm of our hands. Also of note, in the BTTF scene, private information appears on the screen, much like you’d get from pulling up someone’s bio on social media.
A roll-up flatscreen, nature settings, the ability to watch six channels at once and voice activation are all featured on the TVs of the 2015 McFly home.
Earlier this year, LG debuted paper-thin, flexible (aka rollable) TV panels at various trade shows. Though not ready (nor economically friendly) for mass consumption, one can assume this OLED technology will find its way into our living rooms sooner than later. Meanwhile, Marty’s son is shown watching six channels at once and Grandma Lorraine channels surfs to change the “scenery” outside the “window.” Picture-in-picture technology is something that has been available for some time, though never really caught on. However, when most people sit down to watch TV today, they often have their smartphones and tablets nearby, allowing for multiple screen viewing. DVRs also have the ability to record several shows at once, so you never have to worry about missing your favorite program. And whether it’s a Yule log during the holidays, modern art to add ambiance to a cocktail party or family photos from your last vacation, we can display pretty much anything we want on our giant flat screens. If you have Chromecast, this can be done with ease via the Backdrop feature. As for voice-controlled TVs? Yep, we have those too. Samsung and Sony, amongst other brands and set-up boxes, allow for voice activation.
Light and Temperature Sensors
The McFly’s 2015 home automatically adjusts the lights and temperature.
Today, many smart home systems provide this technology. Take for example, Nest. The 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat learns what temperature you like and builds a schedule around yours. The thermostat automatically adjusts to your life and the changing seasons. Just use it for a week and the system programs itself.
Marty gets insta-fired via fax machines installed throughout the home.
Thankfully those dot-matrix fax machines got left in the past where they belong. With today’s smart phones and tablets, you can get your messages anywhere—even from your closet or bathroom— though hopefully your boss has a little more tact. And if your home has a spot where the Wi-Fi is typically weak, boosting your signal is as simple as installing a Sengled Boost lightbulb, the world’s first WI-FI extending LED bulb.
Hanging Indoor Gardens
The 2015 McFly’s home is equipped with a Garden Center fruit dispenser, a voice-activated device that holds and preserves fruit.
Hanging and vertical gardens are all the eco-rage right now. Just take a quick gander at Pinterest and you’ll see what we mean. The only thing missing is the ability to retract from the ceiling on command…but not for long (perhaps). Voice activation was a huge trend at the Smart Home Marketplace at this year’s CES, the world’s largest trade show. And if it’s fresh produce you seek, why mess around with an indoor garden that can attract bugs when you can bring the farmers’ market to your doorstep with services like FarmBox and Farm Fresh To You?
And there you have it. Proof that the home of the future is here. Time for me to go rehydrate a pizza for dinner.