Meet George Jetson -- visionary,
futurist, agent of change. He was really just a typical sitcom dad, the patriarch of the Jetsons -- consisting of his boy Elroy, daughter Judy, Jane his wife, housekeeper Rosey the Robot and pet dog
“The Jetsons” then lived on for decades as a staple of kids’ TV. Over the years, this decidedly lighthearted cartoon sitcom came to be recognized as perhaps the most prescient sci-fi series in the history of television.
" 'The Jetsons’ stands as the single most important piece of 20th century futurism," wrote Smithsonian magazine in 2012 on the 50th anniversary of the show's premiere. "That 24-episode first season helped define the future for so many Americans today."
Others have explored the subject and found a treasure trove of “Jetsons” innovations that are with us today.
“This long list includes personal computers, tablets, flatscreen TVs, smartwatches, video conferencing, online/digital newspapers, video chats, talking alarm clocks, electric toothbrushes, tanning beds, holograms, virtual doctor visits, PillCams, drones, robotic dogs, dog treadmills, moving walkways and more,” wrote Adriana Falco, chief marketing officer for Belgium-based Waylay in a blog to mark the show's 60th anniversary.
“In addition to the numerous push-button, space age-envisioned conveniences and smart home technology depicted in the animated series,” she wrote, “[it] also accurately predicted the future automated processes carried out by artificial intelligence (AI).”
These included “the show's all-knowing computer called RUDI, short for Referential Universal Digital Indexer and comparable to Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri that can be programmed for autonomous events and activities,” she continued.
Others innovations she cited were " 'Mac,' the Skypad Caretaker's robot assistant … claiming the name 20 years before the 'other' Mac by Apple; Rosie's robotic vacuum cleaner, decades before the iRobot Roomba; and the show's autonomous servicing robots, similar to Marty the Robot who roams the aisles of the Giant Food Stores in the U.S."
Perhaps the best-remembered example of "Jetsons" technology was the show's flying cars (photo above), which had replaced terrestrial automobiles.
Flying cars are in full development today, with some reportedly all ready to go but held back because a body of regulations regarding their use has yet to be devised.
The original "Jetsons" was set in the year 2062, a hundred years after the show's premiere and 39 years from now. That is more than enough time for flying cars to become a reality.
George Jetson was said to be 40 years old in 2062, which means he would be 1-year-old right now. How will his generation grow up and what will their world be like in 40 years (if there is a world)?And what will his generation come to be called?
“The Jetsons” photo courtesy of MeTV.