The Jetsons was an animated, futuristic situation comedy produced by Hanna-Barbera which premiered in September 1962 on ABC and ran for one year. The Jetsons lived in Orbit City, high above the ground in Sky Pad apartments. Besides the family, Rosie the Robot and Astro the dog may be the most well remembered characters. George Jetson’s work week was one hour a day, two days a week at Spacely Space Sprockets. Did you know that the show’s creators were better than Popular Science magazine at predicting the future?
Here are some of the things that a 1962 edition of Popular Science predicted for life in the year 2000:
- Rocket airliners that transport people all over the world that can take off vertically
- Airborne scooters for transporting individuals to and fro
- Gyrocopters that transport people, running silently and floating overhead
- Rocket-like speed subway travel roaring through plastic tube
- Buildings that would be put together with chemical fasteners instead of nails
- Housecleaning done effortlessly via high frequency sound waves
- Kitchens with solar ovens for use on clear, sunny days…microwaves for the rest
- Jet propelled monorails
- Plastic walled houses, powered by petroleum powered fuel cells the size of desks
- Disposable clothing and durable plastic shoes
- Frozen food that would taste fabulous! (should we stop at that one?)
Alternatively, the creative geniuses of Hanna-Barbera whose job it was simply to create cartoons for fun and enjoyment predicted so many things that have actually come to be. Here is just a short sampling of some of those predictions built into The Jetsons cartoon:
- Large, Flat Screen TV - In the very first episode of the Jetson, a flat screen TV was displayed…so unlike the big, bulky boxes with tiny screens prevalent at the time.
- Video Chatting - Lots of futurists predicted video chatting in one way or another and the Jetsons were not alone.
- Smart Watches - One of Elroy’s classmates enjoyed a Smart watch way back then!
- Talking Alarm Clocks - The Jetsons beds came equipped with alarm clocks built right into the bedposts. A stately English butler voice lovingly invited the Jetsons family members out of their slumber.
- Roomba Vacuums - While George and Jane Jetson worked far less than a forty-hour week, they did not enjoy housecleaning. Among the many pushbutton devices available to them was a Roomba-Like device that vacuumed their orbiting abode.
- Dog Treadmills - Astro takes a walk in the show’s end credits on a treadmill.
- Digital Newspapers - George can be seen numerous times reading news articles displayed on his TV screen.
- Pill Cameras - Once George is tasked by his boss to have a full physical done and part of that includes him swallowing a tiny robotic pill called the Peekaboo Prober that is quite similar to medical technologies introduced within the last ten years.
So, we applaud the creative geniuses who developed this show with so many predictions about life in the future that came true. They did much better than those scientists! We only wish that the prediction of the Jetsons work week—one hour a day, two days a week—would be true for all of us.
While that is a long way off, we at IT Radix are always here to help you find ways to be more productive and shorten your work week!
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First published in our January 2019 IT Radix Resource newsletter