Great Scott! It’s hard to believe, but Back to the Future 2 day has arrived. When Marty McFly and Doc Brown jumped forward from 1985, they arrived at October 21, 2015 – and much of what the film predicted would happen has come true, thanks to petrochemicals.
Although we still need roads, and flux capacitors have yet to be built, many of the smaller predictions have come to pass. Marty’s video call with his boss, for example, is now entirely possible thanks to Skype and FaceTime, and petrochemicals play a major role in the manufacturing of the devices they are viewed on.
Another prediction the film made correctly was wearable tech: Marty’s shoes tie themselves, and he also wears an auto-drying, self-adjusting jacket. While those may not be available just yet (but Nike is working on the shoes), what is available today are smart bands, fitness monitors, and smart clothing.
Wearable tech allows users the ability to monitor their heart rate and to track their muscles as they move, among other uses – and that is possible by combining electrical circuits and textile technology, such as printing circuits directly onto fabrics, or weaving the circuits as polymers into the fabrics themselves. Petrochemicals are the key to this process.
Finally, we move on to hoverboards. While the Pitbull isn’t yet available, early movers Hendo and Lexus have made some great strides in making this dream an affordable reality – and petrochemicals are involved in many stages of the production process.
More than anything, Back to the Future 2 shows us that the future would not be possible without petrochemicals.