Hack to the future

Adam Burt
Adam Burt
Senior Developer 13 Jan 20163 minutes read

The idea was simple: Create new visions of the future, or make the predictions from the film come true.

On October 17th 2015, dozens of Back to the Future fans descended on Bournemouth for Hack to the Future — A celebration of the fact that October 2015 is the month Marty McFly travels to in the classic time travel caper, Back to the Future Part II. The idea was simple: Create new visions of the future, or make the predictions from the film come true.

Here at Etch, we love supporting community events and we have a real fondness for pop culture references, so when we heard they were after a little bit of sponsorship, we were happy to throw our hat into the ring. We wanted to engage with the concept and deliver something valuable to attendees while at the same time participating in the nature of the event, and an idea was born.

We decided to feed the attendees, but not in the traditional fashion of just turning up with some Dominos. Our pizza had to serve a higher purpose. It had to come… From the future!

Displaying skills that would make that bloke off Art Attack weep, we created a beautiful recreation of the Hydrator, a piece of technology seen in the film which the McFly family use to cook a tiny pizza into a full size one, rapidly.

OK, so ours didn’t EXACTLY make instant fresh pizza. And the attendees had to make their own sound effects. But our point stands: A small rubbery pizza went in, and a large, edible one came out. That’s enough to satisfy our nerdy dream.

To give the event an added bit of fun, we made the guests earn their pizza by tackling a surprisingly difficult trivia quiz, You Don’t Know Jack To The Future. Bursting with impossible questions, tenuous links to the film and an occasional dash of self-promotion, the quiz proved a troublesome foe for many but was eventually conquered by the team to earn their lunch.

You can still play that quiz actually, it’s right over here: Hack to the Future — We’d love to hear your score!

The event itself was a bonafide success, producing interesting experiments, games, websites and futuristic technology in droves. Some of our favourites included: A VR Headset for watching two things on Netflix at once (Audio for one in each ear, obviously…), a version of Guitar Hero where you have to nail Earth Angel or your own face will fade out of existence, voice controlled multi-channel video, and a Tron Lightbike game clone where the bike has been replaced by a Delorean and the light walls replaced by time travel flames. There was so much great stuff on show that we could make this whole thing a big list, but you’ve not got time for that… Unless you really do have a time machine. In which case, get in touch, we’ve got a business opportunity for you that involves a certain Sports Almanac…

Happy #FutureDay, everyone. Here’s to our real future, and seeing where it takes us!