Back to the future… today, but what about tomorrow?


For anyone who has seen The movie Back to the future II, you may remember that Marty McFly, Jennifer and Doc Brown travel in time to 2015, 21 October to be precise- today!

Filmed in 1989, predicting 26 years into the future is no mean feat. Some things aren’t quite there but concepts of video conferencing and Apple TV voice commands are pretty accurate.

Brands have cashed in on this day as the product placement of 2015 from the past comes true (well kind of true!)

Toyota have caught up with the heroes to show them a “trash fuelled car”


The Nike MAGs were released in 2011 to raise money for the Michael J. Fox foundation for Parkinson’s research…


More about the history of the Nike Air MAGs in the video below…


…USA today have created a fake cover…


More about the USA today cover

…Pepsi release “Pepsi perfect”…

More about “Pepsi perfect”



What about the future?

Back to the Future II predicted in 1989 for 2015 – looking 26 years into the future. This got me thinking, what would life be like in 26 years time, in 2041? So much has changed in the relatively short space of time in the last few years. What do I think the world will be like?

People being born today are the post millennials, some call them generation Z but the name has not officially been decided. This group are being born with all the technology we have in 2015. I remember not having a computer, not having a mobile phone, when a mobile phone was not a smart phone. I heard that a child was impressed with a 3D print of the save icon on MS Word. It wasn’t a 3D print, it was a floppy disk! People coming into the world now will not know what a CD is let alone a floppy disk that holds 1/11,429 of the storage of a 16GB iPhone (and that was an HD 1.4MB disk)

Generation Z grow up understanding touch devices and smart phones. In 2041 those born in 2015 will have graduated and they will be the brains behind innovation.

Cross language communication

Worldwide communication will be different. The number of teenagers connecting every day with others in different countries is growing and will continue to do so. Boundaries between countries will be broken from the inside. Google translate is developing fast and this will improve with more and more data. People will be able to talk and type in their own language and the recipient will hear or see it in theirs.

Education will change

Education today is based around remembering. For years, teachers have been trying to stop plagiarism. Copy and paste has become so easy. Neuroscience will allow for the access of information through thought. The connection of the brain to the web will allow for instant access to an expanse of knowledge. Education will focus on the best way to access this information and how to become more creative rather than remembering facts that can be found easily. Social skill education will rise as learning to remember is taken out of the curriculum. More people will become successful without a traditional university degree. People will pick and choose what they want to learn and will tailor their own education. Universities will no longer rely on the professors in that location but will connect all over the world.

Meeting spaces not teleconference

In 2015 it is easy to call someone for a video chat. You see where they are and they see where you are. In 2041 the feeling of a virtual meeting room will be much more believable. Executives will not need to travel across countries for a face to face meeting. They will be able to meet in the middle, shake hands and share ideas in a virtual space.

Cars may not fly but they do drive on their own

Google has its self driving car but this is really just a prototype. In 2041 you will be able to sit in a car and tell it where you want to go. It will take you there and will not require you to drive. If a location is in your diary then the duration will be calculated and you will be told when you need to get in the car based on the location you will be at that time.

Digital memories

In 2015 it is easy to capture a moment a you have a device on you at all times. The days of considering whether to take a camera out are long gone. In 2041 everything will be recorded for your personal use. Imagine if you saw something earlier in the day and you wish you had your phone in your hand ready to take the photo at that exact time. You will be able to rewind to that point and capture what you saw. Everything that you see can be seen again. Storage will become really cheap and processors will become so small. Memories will be able to be passed down through generations.

Computers everywhere and no where

The concept of screens and computers will disappear. Surfaces will become digital. You will hold the key to your processor in the cloud. UX design will have to change as multi device becomes an open surface. More and more, applications will layer and the space will become 3 dimensional. User experience will be more about what that individual wants, pulling the information into their space rather than accessing someone else’s. Design will become much more informed as data becomes richer and the understanding of what people want and user habits really increases.

Fashion will cycle as it always does. The clothing probably will not look futuristic but may be a take on the 1990’s, who knows!

As for the hover board, “Great Scott!”I am hoping for jet packs!


What do you think the world will be like in 2041? Add your comments below 🙂 Let’s check back in 26 years!

Thanks for reading


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1 Response

  1. LePhil says:

    About the changes in education, I agree with you. I think the teachers will have to evolve or perish. It will probably be the next huge economic sector that will be disrupted and replaced by AI or at least by the global economy. It will start with that shift you talked about: from “storage-based” to “creativity-based”. The fight against plagiarism was the first symptom of that and it forced teachers to make tests that were difficult to plagiarise. It forced them to be more creative at to be at the top of their game instead of rehashing the same tests again and again. Next, they will have to be aware of the best knowledge available or the best students will find it by themselves. But I still think the mentoring aspect of their role will be hard to replace: helping young minds negotiating the pitfalls of the information overload will be a noble and daunting task.

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