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Talking It Over: Living like the Jetsons

Sometimes it feels like we are living in the world of the Jetsons. The space age cartoon popular in the 1960's portrayed a family with all the modern conveniences creative minds could imagine for the future.

They flew around on personal space craft, made meals with the touch of a button, had a robot maid named Rosie and walked the dog, Astro, on a continually spinning canvas pad. Who would have ever imagined that in a matter of a few decades inventors would come up with products very similar to those used by the Jetsons and. in some ways, gone way beyond?

While we don‚t fly around on personal space crafts (yet), the technology in vehicles today is astounding. We can now trek through almost any environmental condition. We can talk to our vehicle and it will talk to us. We know when a problem is arising and can predict almost exactly when we will run out of gas, where we are going and call for emergency assistance.

Food preparation is very close to being done by the push of a button. Microwaves can defrost and cook a meal in minutes. Meals can be purchased ready to heat and serve. Preparation time has been greatly reduced and product quality vastly improved.

We have come very close to having a robotic maid doing housework. The remote control vacuum cleaners can do the job at the push of a button. Washers, dryers and new types of fabric make laundry a snap. Dishwashers are so much better than soaking your hands in dishwater.

Communication has changed dramatically. Once again with only the touch of a finger we can call from anywhere at any time. Not only that, but we can text, Twitter, email, take a picture and browse the Web with a few simple key punches and on one tiny machine.

In our daily lives there are many other conveniences that save us time and manpower. We use robotics to do barn chores and factory assembly. We have computer programs to guide our equipment and tell us what needs repair.

Then there is that issue of walking the dog. Did you ever notice how the Jetson system is very much like our modern day treadmill? Only we don't use them for walking pets but rather for our own exercise. Probably to get the exercise we need after saving on the work now done by robots and computers.

We have come a long way from the horse and buggy days and even gone beyond the technology of space age cartoons. It really makes you wonder when you watch science fiction shows today, how much of this might be reality in the future.