We ARE the Jetsons!
Growing up watching cartoons, watching the Jetsons made me want to live in the future. All the flying cars, talking robots, and new fangled contraptions were in our future. Now as I look around at all the technologies, it seems that Hanna/Barbara might have gotten a few things right with their farcical cartoons! Here are a few examples:
Workstations. George Jetson is often pictured at his desk with multiple flat monitors around him while he twiddles away on a bank of buttons.
Video Conferencing. The computers often show video of his boss, Mr. Spacely as they talk back and forth, usually involving George getting fired. I wonder if Web Ex knows about this footage?
Moving Sidewalks. In many of the episodes, the characters don’t walk, but rather step on a moving sidewalk, much like what’s employed at many airports across the globe.
Video Games. Elroy played on an Envirosimulator much akin to today’s super realistic video games. Even George played cards with a robot for fun.
Robots doing work. In almost every episode of the Jetsons, there was at least one robot accomplishing some task. Sure we have industrial robots building cars and welding meta. Even robots vacuuming our carpets, but none of them talk back with artificial intelligence.yet.
Fooderackacycle. Sure we don’t have robots making our food yet, but we do have machines dispensing it¢â‚¬â€vending machines. And not just the old vending machines where food drops to the bottom but ones where arms retrieve the requested snack and even heat it up automatically upon purchase.
Super fast mail. In some of the episodes, they could mail something and have it delivered almost instantly. Sure it was a physical envelope, but today’s e-mail is the next best thing.
Virtual Pets. In several episodes, they have pets that aren’t animals at all, but interact like it. We have those too, called Webkinz and other online pets for kids. Sure it’s not a hologram of the pet, but it is indeed virtual.
What is even more exciting is looking at the technology that is still in the prototype stages. The things that will become part of our lives in the next few years that is distinctly Jetsonian in nature. For example, the ability to carry the communication devices with you. Sure, the iPhone and Blackberry are no folding car that fits in your pocket, but they can call a taxi, and track your whereabouts.
The Microsoft surface technology is another whiz-bang gizmo the Jetsons only wished they had. Handling data not with buttons but with fingers on a shiny black surface. This is our future.
Sure we don’t live in platforms high in the sky, parachute to our flying cars or use jetpacks to get to work, but we are getting closer and closer to the Jetsons every day. With the evolution of the digital camera, MP3 players holding thousands of songs, and the internet allowing us to communicate in dramatically new ways ala Twitter, Facebook, Brightkite, etc. , the future is looking even better than it did when we were dreaming of robots getting us ready in the morning and reading us books. Now if we could just figure out this flying car thing, I think we’d be set.