CES 2022 Reveals That Prove We've Gone Beyond The Future Of 'Back to the Future Part II'

When Back to the Future Part II dropped back in the late stages of the go-go '80s, it offered a wild view of an impossible future that is now, weirdly, very real. What looked like fantastical visions of the year 2015 are now, in the year 2022, quietly commonplace. Self-lacing Nikes are now a thing, and while we haven't exactly seen Steven Spielberg's Jaws 19, reality itself often now feels like an installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its dozens of sequels.

This year's CES tech extravaganza showed just how far we've come, surpassing the day-glo future imagined by one of the best sequels ever made with technology and innovation that puts 20th century imagination to shame.

This sponsored list was created with the participation of INDI EV.


  • The INDI EV Next Generation Electric Blockchain Car

    The INDI EV Next Generation Electric Blockchain Car
    Photo: Universal Pictures / INDI EV

    Doc Brown doesn't just turn turn his time machine into a flying car on his first jaunt into the future. He also kits it out with Mr. Fusion, a compact little fusion reactor to power the whole thing; quite a big difference from the fossil fuels and plutonium that gave the DeLorean its giddy-up before. Independent Electric Vehicle, the Los Angeles startup that unveiled the new electric blockchain car, known as the IndiEV at CES, has embraced Doc's philosophy with aplomb. The IndiEV is entirely electric, channeling Mr. Fusion by driving clean, eco-friendly, and stylish.

    While Doc Brown innovated by turning a car into a time machine, however, this startup has doubled down on the idea of multipurpose automobiles with its flagship vehicle. As a car, it's marvelous. The sleek vehicle has a range of up to 300 miles and includes all the comforts and coolness of a next-generation electric vehicle. It's not only a car, though. Like Doc Brown's car/time machine, this thing is an electric vehicle and a supercomputer in one. 

    The VIC (vehicle integrated computer) means that this smart-electric vehicle can access all metaverse systems, power AAA gaming, and facilitate all manner of creative work when you're not driving. And that's not all; each car can act as a blockchain node.

    "Most simply, the average consumer sees their vehicle as a mode of transportation that gets them from point A to B, but that is because that’s all it’s ever been,” according to INDI EV Head of Design Andre Hudson. “The future of electric vehicles can potentially be so much more. In pursuit of this vision, we looked at the latest emerging technological trends as applied to our vehicle’s strengths and discovered an opportunity to integrate blockchain technology directly into our vehicle.”

    It might not be a time machine, but it'll sure feel like one where all roads lead to the future.

  • TCL NXTWear Air Glasses

    TCL NXTWear Air Glasses
    Photo: Universal Pictures / TCL

    Screens define the domestic life in the McFly home of the future: Marty teleconferences on enormous wall-spanning TV screens; his son Marty Jr. basks in multiple cable channels simultaneously; and those big screens even provide beautiful, soothing views strikingly different from the actual views of their subdivision. Most important, both the McFly kids wear multipurpose screens like glasses so they can be perpetually plugged in and entertained.

    The new TCL NXTWear Air glasses put the McFlys' bulky goggles to shame. These are effectively TV screens for your face, but they're also so much more: these glasses are compatible with more than 100 different smartphones and varied devices. You're not limited to simply watching television with the dual 1080p displays, but movies and TV should be stunningly like viewing on a 140-inch screen.

    And the best part: they don't look lame. This model resembles a pair of slick Ray-Ban Wayfarers rather than a silly bit of sci-fi. 

  • Picnic Robotic Pizza Machine

    Picnic Robotic Pizza Machine
    Photo: Universal Pictures / Picnic

    When the McFly gang sits down for a humble family dinner, they don't do so over a stuffy meatloaf or an ostentatious turkey. No, they gather around the universally agreed-upon food of the people: pizza.

    In one Hill Valley kitchen of Back to the Future Part II, it's all about reasonably appetizing "dehydrated pizza" based on astronaut food, but Seattle-based food startup Picnic has leveled up with its Picnic Pizza Kitchen, which makes hand-tailored 'zas without the hands. With this robotic setup, a single employee can whip up 100 12-inch pizzas in an hour, using exclusively fresh ingredients rather than freeze-dried nonsense. 

  • Holograms For Everyday Life, Courtesy Of Imuzak 

    Holograms For Everyday Life, Courtesy Of Imuzak 
    Photo: Universal Pictures / Imuzak

    Remember when a freshly-displaced-from-the'-80s Marty is overwhelmed by a giant hologram ad for Jaws 19 that attempts to swallow him whole on the streets of Hill Valley? Imagine that, but used responsibly and artfully. Constructively, even. 

    That's what Imuzak has created, and it's doing a heck of a lot more than advertising an unwanted sequel in a public square. Instead, Imuzak's 3D Steering-Wheel display keeps every driver in the loop, so to speak, with accessible and noninvasive holograms right on the dashboard of a car.

    A 2.8-inch screen baked right into the steering wheel makes this magic happen, while a microlens on top of the wheel lets drivers interact with 3D representations of real-world objects by "touching" them. So, while driving, you can vet your options for, say, ATMs, restrooms, or fast-food joints by waving your fingers through a 3D representation rather than dangerously mucking with your phone. And no sharks will holographically devour you.

     

  • CLOi Robot Waiters

    CLOi Robot Waiters
    Photo: Universal Pictures / LG

    Robots. You knew robots were going to show up here, even though nobody in HIll Valley is dipping into Johnny Cab territory. Still, robo-servers at Cafe '80s make appearances in the film with the faces of Ronald Reagan and the King of Pop. The LG CLOi GuideBot and ServeBot fit the Back to the Future mold by being all-purpose futuristic robo-servants entirely free of ethical dilemmas or even a hint of humity. They look like appliances, but they can be programmed to do any number of things, including acting as waiters, security guards, information kiosks, and plenty more. 

    Since they can travel at about a meter per second, these 'Bots can handle plenty of aspects in the hospitality industry. They can also include three shelves, making them ideal to bus tables or quietly clean up.