We are about halfway between 1962, the year the original Jetsons TV show was produced, and 2062, the year in which the series was set in. I don’t know about you, but it was that TV show that pretty much set up my expectations for what the future would be like.
So, how close are we to our Jetsonsian future?
Moving Sidewalks (like the one Astro walks on)– Yes, many airports have these Big Screen TV – Sure Videophone- Yes. In fact, the real videophones are far better and more portable than the huge tube-based, stationary things on the Jetsons Robot Maid– Sort of. I have a Roomba. Rosie the robot could dust, answer the door, and make wise-cracks. Roomba’s a start. Robot Dog- At one point, George Jetson bought the family a robotic dog named Lectronimo because he had some issues with Astro’s real canine behavior. I think Sony’s AIBO dog could do a lot of what Lectronimo could do, although it’s been an awful long while since I’ve seen that episode. Flying Car – Not even close. This is my one great disappointment of the Jetsonian vision of the future. Perhaps there’s hope. The HuffPost said a couple days ago that the Terrafugia — one of oh, so many that have promised us a flying car future — has been officially approved by the US Government to drive on highways. But it’s designed to drive on highways in the city and then fly from airport to airport for long distances. But again, it’s a start I guess. Interplanetary Travel and Off-planet Vacationing – In one episode, George and Jane visit Las Venus (which has robotic blackjack dealers. These I’ve seen.) But real interplanetary travel? Sigh.
All told, the prescience of the Jetson’s writer’s is remarkable. Jules Verne and Nostradamus, you’ve got nothing on Hanna-Barbera.
Are there any other Jetsonian “predictions” that have come to pass or that you think are likely in another 50 years? Post in comments.
See inside Bill Gurstelle’s new book, The Practical Pyromaniac, here.