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I remember watching The Jetsons in rerun syndication as a kid and thinking how awesome the future was going to be when I grew up. Would it be a hi-tech world filled with smart mobile devices and artificial intelligence? I was anxious to find out.

The show was created in the 1960s, when the Jet Age was in full swing and America was focused on putting a man on the moon.

Back then, television was still partly black and white in most of the United States. Yet The Jetsons was the first program to be broadcast by ABC in color.

Even though the cartoon was set in 2062, my young mind looked on in wide-eyed excitement with the firm belief that all the modern conveniences portrayed in vivid Technicolor would soon be an inevitable reality. 


The Jetsons suggested a utopian future full of next-gen tech

In actuality, the 1960s was the time of social revolution and unrest.

The Jetsons were a reprieve in which next-gen tech had created a futuristic utopia free of social ills where humans enjoyed bubble-shaped flying cars, three-hour work days, supersonic sports and robotic servants.

Even having to walk your dog was an antiquated chore. George Jetson used a self-operating treadmill with no safety rails outside a 1,150-story window to give his dog Astro a walk.

And what’s not to love about a genetically enhanced canine that spoke broken English with the letter “r” at the beginning of every word uttered?

We were promised flying cars. But at least we got smartphones

Despite repeated attempts at the flying car, we’re already reaping the benefits of many other technological advances featured on The Jetsons. One of the most impactful developments has been mobile.

Thankfully it’s not the kind of mobile portrayed on The Jetsons where people move along a mile-high conveyor belt (again with no safety rails). 

The Apple Watch is great. But it's not a Jetson Watch just yet. 

Spacelys_Competitor_on_Smartwatch-1In The Jetsons, video chat was a standard form of communication. There was the Televiewer, which was essentially a smart TV where George could sit and read the news on a High-Def screen.

George could also see and speak with his boss and family from different types of smart tablets, video monitors, and smart watches.

Today’s most advanced version of a smart watch is the Apple Watch. But the Apple Watch is currently missing one major form of communication: Video chat.

But other smart mobile devices do have this feature. And the mobile market is growing with no signs of stopping.

Even if George Jetson jumped into a WABAC machine and travelled to our current time to yell: “Jane! Stop this crazy thing!” It’s already too late. The robotic cat’s out of the bag and mobile is here to stay.

A recent article in ZDNet featured a 2014 survey from Tech Pro Research about today’s smartphone usage.

The survey highlighted the fact that the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement in business is booming, with 74% of organizations either already using or planning to allow employees to bring their own devices to work.

In fact, 64% of American adults now own a smart device, up from 35% in the spring of 2011..

We may not have the high-gloss helmets, jet packs and bubble cars we were promised. But the future is now with mobile.  Learn more about mobile solutions.


Images courtesy of Hanna-Barbara Studios.

Written by IBM BP Network