Marty McFly and Doc Brown visit the year 2015 in Back to the Future II
Marty McFly and Doc Brown visit the year 2015 in Back to the Future IIUniversal Pictures

Happy 2015 and welcome to the future! It's been 16 years since Michael J Fox's iconic science-fiction cult comedy adventure film Back to the Future II came out and we've finally hit the year when the film is set.

But just how many of the amazing inventions has the world caught up with since 1989? Join IBTimes UK as we take a look at all the predictions that panned and the ones that just might.

Video communications

Needles calls Marty
Needles calls Marty 'chicken' over an AT&T video chat in the filmUniversal Pictures

Remember when future Marty McFly is challenged by Needles to take part in a not-so-legal business deal and ends up getting fired?

While we don't often use it on TV screens, video conferencing technology has been used since the 1990s and became popular in the 2000s with the advent of Skype, which was developed in 2003.

Skype
Skype

PRICE: Free

Hoverboards

Marty McFly uses a Mattel hoverboard to escape from thugs in 2015
Marty McFly uses a Mattel hoverboard to escape from thugs in 2015Universal Pictures

If 2015 had come a year or two ago, hover boards might still be on the "fat chance predictions" list, but in October, tech startup Ax Pax launched a Kickstarter campaign for its Hendo Hoverboard.

Ax Pax invented Magnetic Field Architecture, a technology which uses four disc-shaped hover engines create a magnetic field that can lift the board into the air.

The Hendo Hover - still in development and currently used only in special hover parks
The Hendo Hover - still in development and currently used only in special hover parksAx Pax

PRICE: $10,000 (£6,478)

Self-lacing shoes

Power-lacing Nike trainers feature in Back to the Future II
Power-lacing Nike trainers feature in Back to the Future IIUniversal Pictures

Also rushing to get its invention in just before 2015 is Powerlace, a start-up that launched a Kickstarter campaign in November offering automatically lacing trainers that use a hidden mechanism and a force sensor hidden in the heel of the shoe.

Keen Back to the Future II fans will also recall that Nike made 1,500 limited edition replica Power Laces from the film in 2011 that sold out immediately, but later this year, Nike has promised to release real Power Laces, called Nike Mags.

Nike is to launch futuristic Nike Mag shoes in 2015
Nike is to launch futuristic Nike Mag shoes in 2015, inspired by the filmNike

PRICE: C$175 (£97) for the Powerlace Kickstarter shoes; unknown for Nike's version

Dog-walking drones

A helicopter drone can walk dogs in 2015
A helicopter drone can walk dogs in 2015Universal Pictures

While you wouldn't likely let your dog out alone with one of these, flying robots, which we know as helicopter drones do now exist and can be flown remotely.

Numerous companies including Amazon, Google, Disney and DHL want to use these unmanned aerial vehicles for delivery services, entertainment, crop management and aerial video photography, and lawmakers are currently reviewing legislation to make drones safe for public use.

A quadcopter armed with a Sony Action Cam Mini on show at IFA in Berlin last month
Quadcopter helicopter drones have become popular with enthusiasts in 2014Reuters

PRICE: Between £100-£500 ($154-$770)

Hands-free gaming

Long before he was tasked with destroying the one ring, Elijah Wood was enjoying hands-free gaming in 2015
Long before he was tasked with destroying the one ring, Elijah Wood was enjoying hands-free gaming in 2015Universal Pictures

Remember adorable little Elijah Wood playing a video game using a headset that detects brain frequencies to work?

We're not quite completely there yet, but we do have hands-free gaming with the Xbox Kinect, virtual reality video games are now being invented to work with virtual reality goggles like the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR.

Microsoft Xbox One Kinect Always On
It's now possible to play games using only gestures with the Xbox KinectMicrosoft

PRICE: £139.99 ($215.51) for the Xbox One Kinect Sensor; $350 (£227) for Oculus Rift development kit; $200 (£130) for Samsung Gear VR but release TBC

Video glasses

Marlene McFly wears video glasses around her neck and picks up calls immediately
Marlene McFly wears video glasses around her neck and picks up calls immediatelyUniversal Pictures

During the dinner table scene, Marty's teenage daughter Marlene (hilariously portrayed by Fox) wears video glasses around her neck.

When the phone rings, the glasses display the word PHONE in illuminated orange letters. However, in Back to the Future II's version of the future, people still only have only one phone line, so when Needles calls for Marty, Marlene has to end her call.

While the jury is still out on whether Google Glass will end up being just a fad, rather than a useful gadget, if you're an early adopter of the technology then you can hold conversations on Skype using the glasses.

Perhaps Google Glass isn't such a good idea for your eyes as it can cause blind spots
Video glasses now exist! They're known as Google Glass, but we're not yet sure that we want them to stick aroundReuters

PRICE: $1,500 (£1,000) with the Google Glass Explorer Programme

Flying cars

In 2015, cars don't drive - they fly
In 2015, cars don't drive – they flyUniversal Pictures

If you've been excitedly awaiting the invention of the flying car like the one flown by Doc Brown in the film, you might need to broaden your horizons a little.

Flying cars are currently being invented and prototypes do exist, but they're not exactly cars, but rather, an amalgamation of a car and an airplane.

Two companies are trying to push this type of technology forward, namely Terrafugia and Aeromobil, but so far the world hasn't shown much interest.

The Aeromobil airplane car - would you buy this?
The Aeromobil airplane car – would you buy this?Aeromobil

PRICE: $279,000 (£172,000) for both Aeromobil and Terrafugia

3D movies and holograms

Jaws 3D showing at the cinema with a giant hologram advertising campaign in 2015
Jaws 19's giant hologram advertising campaign in 2015Universal Pictures

While cinemas still aren't using giant holograms to advertise new films, 3D movies now exist that require people to wear 3D glasses to watch them.

Holograms, on the other hand, are used in education, museums and occasionally to bring deceased singers back to life, a la Tupac and Michael Jackson, but for not much else.

Biometric technology

The police in 2015 use Jennifer's thumb print to open her front door
The police in 2015 use Jennifer's thumbprint to open her front doorUniversal Pictures

In Back to the Future II, future Marty is seen using iris identification technology in his home, while the police scan Jennifer's fingerprint on a thumb plate to let her into her future home.

While iris identification is more commonly used in high-security facilities like banks, nuclear reactors and even immigration inspection points, thumbprint scanning is now used at immigration border control points around the world and features on both Android and iPhone smartphones.

Electronic Aura Could Solve Password Problems
Apple's Touch ID is one of a number of biometric security systems, but can be compromised.Reuters