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Back to the Present: 2015 in Budapest
Back to the Present: 2015 in Budapest

Great Scott! We’ve arrived in the year 2015 – how does present-day life here compare with its portrayal in the 1989 blockbuster Back to the Future II? Well, many of the movie’s most fantastical gadgets have still not been invented (especially the time-traveling DeLorean), but here in Hungary’s capital we’re proud to observe many aspects of our modern reality that are actually better than how Robert Zemeckis imagined they would be – and we didn’t even need a flux capacitor to discover them. Set the time circuits for now and see what we’ve made of the future… this is heavy!

Footwear Transportation Skateboards Pizza Eyewear Communications Style


Photo: BTTF II/Tisza Cipő
According to real news reports, Nike’s “Power Laces” high-tops are actually under development and are slated for retail release sometime this year, but they’re not yet available to the general public. However, Hungary’s own Tisza shoes – the only sneakers created here during the communist era – have persevered since 1989 and are still made today as a hip native product, created with cool modern style.


It appears that flying cars powered by “hover conversions” can still only be seen in the far-off future… and considering how many auto accidents happen these days in Budapest between boring old land-based vehicles, this is probably a very good thing. At least we are expecting to see some futuristic-looking new trams around the Magyar metropolis this year – we can only hope that they never go airborne!


Despite many attempts to actually invent hoverboard technology, the eagerly anticipated levitating deck has not become reality by 2015, which would cause big problems for Marty McFly and Doc Brown in both Back to the Future sequels. Nonetheless, the entrepreneurs behind DEZKA (Hungary’s first mini-board company) create great new skateboards with retro designs, and good skaters can do impressive aerials on them, even over water.


Photo: BTTF II/Pizza Me
The instantly prepared pizza created by Black & Decker’s “hydrator” oven never looked all that appetizing (although it was pretty incredible to see three versions of Michael J. Fox share it at a single table), so it’s not too disappointing that this appliance never came to fruition. Luckily, fresh-baked pizza slices are sold on almost every corner in Budapest nowadays – that’s good enough for us.


Photo: BTTF II/Capa Center
The capabilities of high-tech glasses are left vague in the movie version of 2015; the McFly kids wear some sort of phone-equipped shades that are apparently only connected to their home’s landline. Google Glass is probably more advanced than any eyewear in the film, and through March 1 we can see such genuinely cutting-edge spectacles in the “Imagining Vision” exhibit at Budapest’s Capa Center.


Photo: BTTF II/Prezi
Here is one prediction where Back to the Future II was laughably behind the times – before his ignoble dismissal, middle-aged Marty McFly addresses an old-school projection screen with random information about the caller artlessly presented below his fuzzy image. Hungary’s own Prezi is already taking display technology far beyond those low standards – but can Prezi send multiple faxes simultaneously?


Photo: BTTF II/BP Shop
We can confidently state that contemporary Budapest fashion is much more appealing than what people wore around Hill Valley in 2015; whereas most clothing seems rubbery, garish, and uncomfortable in the movie’s future era (and why the double neckties?), new apparel by Hungarian design pros like BP Shop is loose and comfy while still being eye-catching. Nevertheless, that’s a pretty fresh hat, Marty.