How does Back to the Future’s Hill Valley 2015 compare to today’s reality? Part 3: Predictions for our future

Last updated: 04 March 2015

This is the final post in our special Mobile World Congress series looking at how the predictions made for 2015 in Back to the Future Part 2 compare with reality. Click here to read part 1, where we evaluated identity and payment, and here to read part 2, where we assessed how connected cars and wearable technology.

Back to the Future Part 2 may not have scored 100% in its predictions for 2015, but it has had enduring value as a piece of science fiction and consumer entertainment. In this blog, however, we turn our attention to predictions for our own future, assessing the current technological scene and imagine where it could lead.

From four-wheeled mobile offices to driverless cars and even windshields with integrated Google Glass, the possibilities to enhance transportation in the future is endless and the automobile is considered by many to be the next great tech battleground. Connected cars will deliver a wide range of applications, of which NFC car keys are just the tip of the iceberg. After all, cars already have incredibly sophisticated in-car entertainment systems, and the sensing and mapping systems are so advanced that we’ve seen impressive autonomous vehicle demonstrations and proof of concepts developed by the likes of Audi, Google and others. Real-time vehicle location data is already being used by insurance firms to improve tariffs, and by emergency and rescue services to improve response times to drivers. Clearly, connected cars are being used in many practical ways to improve our experiences on the road.

The ‘universal’ connected cars consider the Smartphone to be the key point of connectivity. This is the case with Apple CarPlay, which duplicates the iPhone’s functions on the car’s infotainment system. The idea of CarPlay is that it allows you to use all of your iPhone’s functionality without actually touching it, including playing music, navigating to the shops, taking phone calls and reading and sending text messages. In theory, there are no limits to the interplay, and this is where our imaginations can take lead. Perhaps we’ll be able to turn our wipers on and off simply by talking to Siri or unlock our vehicles using our iPhones in the future. If we combine this ability with driverless technology, maybe we can one day command Siri to drive us home whilst we put our feet up and listen to iTunes, but this request would probably trigger only a pre-planned sarcastic Siri response for the near future at least. In which case, we can all be grateful for the fact that Siri is less irritating than the stuttering virtual waiter in Back to the Future Part 2’s 2015.

The defining factor in delivering these services and applications has been, and continues to be, trust. When you do trust these services, as the youth of Hill Valley did, using them becomes a natural part of our everyday lives. Therefore, building the reality of our future will happen in step with the development of services and infrastructure, as long as we trust them.

We want to hear what your predictions are for the future, and you can tell us by entering our Mobile 2025 Challenge. Tell us what you think Mobile World Congress 2025 has in store and you could win a Lego Cuusoo Back to the Future Delorean Set. To enter the competition, you can tweet your idea to @gemalto and use the hashtag #MWC25, email or leave a comment on the blog by clicking here. But hurry, the competition ends this Friday!

Lego Delorean SetBy 2025, perhaps the flying car will seem as anachronistic as the fax machines of Back to the Future Part 2’s 2015, as we all fire our consciousness off into virtual avatars around the globe using our wearable technology. It’s up to you to decide!

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