Is it time for flying cars yet?

By Susan Richter, Head of Content

If Hollywood is anything to go by then 2015 will be the year of the hover board and flying cars. Back To The Future II fans will know exactly what I mean. The second movie in an iconic trilogy starring Michael J Fox in his prime, Back To The Future II takes place in the year 2015. Filmed in 1989 the view of the future was certainly an interesting one and not entirely wrong.

Video calls, wearable tech and the multi-screen environment (and the never ending succession of movie sequels) are all things we’re experiencing now.

Where the film missed the mark – according to a Newsweek article that featured comment from a number of futurists – was on hover boards and flying cars (which still might be on the horizon) and the emphasis on the use of fax machines. Fax machines, what? Exactly.

While the film was always meant as entertainment and not a serious prediction of future trends, it is interesting to see how things have changed since the 1980s.

Looking at the year ahead, as most of the media seems to be doing during the first week of a new year, the serious analysts like Gartner and IDC are focusing on trends such as The Internet of Things, 3D printing, analytics, cloud, security and increase of mobiles, tablets and wearable tech. Based on what happened on 2014, these forecasts can’t really be considered a surprise.

Fox Business thinks that 2015 will be the year that virtual reality flourishes thanks to Magic Leap, smart watches dominated by Apple will be become the Next Big Thing, and mobile payments will appeal to a much a wider audience.

In the same vein, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) currently on in Las Vegas has launched a number of new technologies and concept products. Along with the predictable advances in television, gaming and smartphones, there were a couple of things that caught my eye:

The ZBoard 2 electric skateboard, the AirDog action sports drone, colour changing walls for buildings, the Lynx smart grill for those lacking barbecue skills, Sleep Number SleepIQ Kids with a built-in monster detector, and the Volkswagen Golf R Touch that is controlled using gestures.

As amazing as they sound, I think a part of me is still holding out for flying cars by the end of the year. After all, the only thing that could make my awesome Fiat 500 more awesome would be wings.