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‘The Jetsons’ is ‘The Simpsons’ for Technology


‘The Jetsons’ is ‘The Simpsons’ for Technology

So you know how the Simpsons have made some accurate predictions, the most popular being that of Donald Trump becoming the US President, well the Jetsons have been doing that for a while now, but mainly on the tech front.

Lately, the Jetsons have been on my mind a whole lot and I decided to write about it. I first watched an episode in early 2000s and I wondered how they thought so far ahead. This was at a time where the most I did with computers was play Dave,Super Mario and Pinball. Boy!! Was I more impressed when I found out that the first episode actually aired in 1963, when Nigeria just became a republic.

For those who do not know The Jetsons, it was a pretty popular cartoon back in the day back in my day (at least I can vouch for that) and was built around a family, ‘the Jetsons’ – George; his wife, Jane; their children, Judy and Elroy; their robot maid, Rosie and Astro, a talking dog. The setting was in 2062.

So let’s see some of what the 1963 cartoon predicted correctly or very closely.

Flying cars

That’s pretty much the first thing you see once the cartoon starts and we’ve had a few trials on flying cars though they are not commercially available just yet. There is the Terrafugia Transition, which can get up to 62 mph on the road, with its rear wheels driven by a horizontally opposed four-cylinder Rotax 100-hp engine. Of course the price tag is steep, somewhere around $230,000. It is expected sometime next year. So we may be 45 years early.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Well the Jetsons had Rosie, who was an electronic maid ‘with a brain’ and had conversations with the family when she was not doing her duties.Presently there’s so much buzz on Artificial Intelligence with major companies investing in that department.Microsoft Corporation just recently formed the Microsoft AI and research Group.But we can still make do with Cortana, Watson, Siri and what’s available till its perfect.

Self-driving cars

In this case, self-flying jets. In an episode of the Jetsons, George’s jet was not within range so he sends an order through a device and the jet comes over to the apartment to pick him up. 2016 and we’ve had various successful tests on self-driving cars and Uber’s first driving truck, Otto completed a successful trip this year. 

3D printing

Meals in the Jetsons were 3D printed and all to do was press a button and voila! food comes out the machine. We are yet to get to 3D printing food but we do have 3D printers already and the first 3D printed building in Dubai.

Video Calling

In 1963 smartphones or internet connection were not even a thing but George was having regular video calls with his boss and his wife. Fast forward to 2016, and video calling is now a thing with the likes of Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangout and even one of the most popular chat platform, WhatsApp just launched the video calling feature.

Vacuum Tube Transport

In the show, there were barely staircases but elevators and tube transport for workers to move really quickly. In 2016, we already have the Hyperloop in the works. It is a new form of ground transportation through tubes that can move as fast as 700mph. So yeah, we are getting there.

In the architectural sphere, we will see how it goes because the structures there were well, literally out of this world sort of. They were in the sky. Ironically, the cartoon aired around same time with the Flinstones which was very very primitive though with the same directors.

So its 2016 and I think we’re pretty much on track to where it was intended. Hopefully we do not have to live way up in the sky because I love the views provided by nature.

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A sports and nature lover, art enthusiast and rookie globe trotter. I'm also in love with Africa, tech and politics.

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