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Flashback: Have smart homes entered the era of ‘The Jetsons’?

December 09, 2018

Flashback: Have smart homes entered the era of ‘The Jetsons’?

What people predicted 60 years ago and where mainstream smart home technology is today

Smart home technology has come a long way in recent years—but have we officially entered the futuristic age depicted in the TV show The Jetsons or in the Monsanto House of the Future (a design concept featured at Disneyland in Anaheim in 1957)?

You might be surprised to see how many technologies have already arrived.

Compared to The Jetsons, where are we today?
The Jetsons was a TV cartoon from 1962 featuring a nuclear family enjoying all kinds of time-saving home hacks and portraying a whimsical notion of what life could look like in the year 2062. The family—George, Jane, Judy and Elroy Jetson—enjoyed moving walkways, flying cars, an appliance that delivered ready-made meals, and a robot named Rosie that handled all the chores.

While we don’t yet have flying cars, moving walkways in our homes or cars that fold into a suitcase, the Jetsons did have other iconic smart home technologies that we can already appreciate today:

Video phones: In The Jetsons, family members often communicated through video calling. Many of us already use Facetime, Skype and other video calling platforms daily. So the Jetsons definitely got this one right.

Robot vacuum: In the cartoon, Jane Jetson (the mother) often used one very recognizable house-cleaning device—the robot vacuum—which is also available today. We have many automated vacuums to choose from, which proves one thing: that people have been seeking cleaning shortcuts for decades.

Automatic food preparation: Jane Jetson could press a few buttons and receive a multi-course meal in mere seconds. Modern smart homes aren’t quite there yet; but we do have some devices that save time in the kitchen—like smart coffee makers, refrigerators that can order milk when we’re running low and devices that can replace multiple cooking appliances. The ability to plan and prepare food for us, however, is not available yet.

Robot assistants: The Jetsons had a walking, talking robot named Rosie that handled many of their chores. While we can’t buy a full-fledged robot like Rosie yet, we do have plenty of voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and others that use voice recognition and machine learning to handle simple tasks and make our lives easier.      

Compared to The Monsanto House of the Future, where are we today?
When Disneyland in Anaheim constructed The Monsanto House of the Future in 1957, it was meant to portray what a house might look like in 1986. While the timing is off by a few decades, the design concept did feature some smart home technologies we would now consider mainstream, such as a central panel for a zone-controlled climate system, automated dishwashers, closed-circuit television receivers for security and built-in stereo systems—all controlled by the push of a button.

Modern smart home technologies bring us pretty close to that reality. For example, you can buy a Wi-Fi-connected dishwasher with mobile apps that allow users to monitor cycle times and keep track of how many detergent pods are left. You can also get Wi-Fi-connected thermostats that automatically adjust temperatures, improve home efficiency and save energy, as well as digital assistants that can control your TV and music. 

Apparently, the cartoonists and visionaries from decades ago were on to some good ideas—much of which we’re lucky to enjoy in our smart homes today.

To learn more about smart home technologies that can bring your home a bit more into the future, connect with the experts at Ingram Micro today.