A much loved 1960’s TV series, The Jetsons portrayed a cartoon family from the future. Every aspect of the show, which followed the family’s daily life, was sleek and futuristic. They lived in a sky-high city supported by tall beams. They traveled by flying car, and utilized automated technology in every aspect of their lives. At the time, these technologies were almost unimaginable. Fifty years later, however, many of these futuristic inventions actually exist.
The Jetsons’ house was filled with futuristic objects. The family interacted with their robot maid, Rosie, in nearly every episode. She completed the majority of housework, and was accompanied by a small robot vacuum that operated on its own. These robots were an alluring proposition for housewives at the time. Mrs. Jetson used the TV, which hung from the ceiling, to video call with her friends. Mr. Jetson often read the newspaper from the large screen of the TV, and also wore a TV wristwatch that allowed him to watch episodes of The Flintstones. He often walked the dog on a treadmill, without ever leaving the house.
Though human-sized robots have not made it into our homes, small robot vacuums certainly have. Video-calling is common, and not limited to the home. We now have the capability to video-call on the go, anywhere. Some preliminary job interviews are even held in this manner. Video-calling can occur on the smallest of devices, similar to the wristwatch with a screen worn by Mr. Jetson. Wristwatches like this do exist, including ones that act as a fully functional smart phone. Even treadmills have become commonplace in people’s homes, and you certainly could walk your dog on one.
The Jetsons did predict a few advances that we have not seen yet. The flying cars they used daily have not yet hit the market, though we have seen the development of self-driving cars. Robot teachers have not replaced human ones, though more and more students are using computers in the classroom. Clear, vacuum tube elevators have not appeared in most homes, but some people have installed elevators – and even some of these are made up of glass. Mr. Jetson’s three-hour workdays certainly have not become commonplace, and trips to the moon, while possible, are not quite available at your local airport.
The majority of these predictions focus on a concept which is growing rapidly today: the Internet of Things. Machine to machine, or M2M, communication gives every ‘thing’ the ability to talk to other intelligent ‘things.’ This eliminates the need for human interference, and allows machines to perform tasks on their own. These machines rely on a M2M network, like the one provided by Aeris Communications. Aeris allows machines to communicate rapidly and without interruption on their network designed solely for M2M. Aeris allows the futuristic fantasy of the Jetsons to become a reality.
We are able to live in a world where machines can communicate, thanks to the network provided by Aeris. This technology has increased our ability to delegate tasks, much like a robot housemaid. Because of this technology, what was revolutionary about The Jetsons in the 1960’s is no longer unfathomable. We have surpassed the predictions of the show, and continue to expand our technological abilities. Though still entertaining to watch, today The Jetsons feels more like the present than the future.