In 1962, Hanna-Barbera unveiled The Jetsons, a cartoon that took a look at what the world might be like in the future. While we haven’t quite gotten to the point where we’re all zipping around in flying cars, a good deal of the tech in the show has actually made it, in some form, into the modern world.
If you’re scrambling around looking for the perfect last-minute gift this holiday season, the original future family might be just the inspiration you need. From George’s talking alarm clock to a smart elevator that can take you anywhere you want with the push of a button, we’ve rounded up a few of the gadgets and gizmos that made The Jetsons great that you can actually buy today. Even better, they’re all available via Amazon Prime, so you can get them to your home almost as fast as Rosie the Robot could.
The Jetsons had a super-thin television that would descend from their ceiling whenever they wanted to watch something. Today’s TVs are arguably even thinner than the future family ever imagined. This 65-inch curved TV by LG is designed so it looks great from any angle in the room (we doubt the Jetsons’ TV could pull that off), and has a 4k resolution, which is as lifelike as you can get on a television in our future. Smart TVs like this one also take things a step further than the Jetsons’ set by offering built-in apps like Netflix and Hulu that put the world’s movies and TV shows at your fingertips.
George Jetson had a team of toothbrushes that handled the dirty work for him. We’re not quite at a point where we all have automated toothbrushes installed in our bathrooms, but brushing technology has come a pretty long way. There are a ton of “smart” brushes out there that offer functionality far beyond what was we saw in the cartoon. Oral-B’s Pro 7000 SmartSeries electric toothbrush, for instance, offers real-time feedback on how you’re brushing, tracks your brushing habits over time, and offers tips on how you can improve your technique.
We don’t all have robot maids and butlers in our homes just yet, but you can get a lot of the functionality the Jetsons got from Rosie from much smaller devices. For instance, Amazon’s Echo can play that song you want to hear, order your groceries for you, and even control some aspects of your smart home. Everything is done with your voice, so like with a true robot butler, you’ll never have to lift a finger.
Jane Jetson could simply ask to “call Mom” and then get her on video chat instantly. With things like Skype and Google Hangouts, video chatting with loved ones is just a click away. The iPhone and most Android devices, such as Samsung’s Galaxy S7, also have built-in personal assistants Siri and Google Now that can handle your request to call Mom and a whole lot more.
Elroy Jetson used his smartwatch to watch episodes of The Flintstones and talk to his family. While smartwatches with video capabilities aren’t quite ready for prime time just yet, today’s smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch, can allow you to call home, view photos, and even track your latest workout.
Elroy’s quick access to information while doing his homework offered a glimpse into our potential future. Today, kids have the internet at their fingertips. If you want to keep those fingers off your expensive laptop, then something like this Chromebook by Asus can be a great solution. Nearly everything is done using Chrome, which means your child can log in on the laptop and a desktop at school and have an identical experience. At under $250, the computer is also inexpensive enough that it won’t break the bank, or destroy your patience in the event it gets damaged.
The Jetsons had alarm clocks they could talk to, and so do we. Moshi’s voice-controlled alarm clock allows you to set your wake-up time by talking to it. Beyond setting an alarm, the handy clock can also tell you what the weather is outside while you’re rolling out of bed, and tell you the time while you’re getting ready on the other side of the room.
George got his news each morning from a digital paper. Today, not only do we have digital versions of most newspapers, we also have websites like this one where you can get caught up on the day’s news. If you’re hankering for a larger screen to get that reading done, the iPad Pro can be a great solution. The light device allows you to bring your morning reading with you during your commute, and it’s good for a whole lot more than just reading.
The Jetsons could travel by simply pressing a button and telling the elevator, tube, or car where they wanted to go. We’re not quite at a smart elevator status just yet, but Uber works in an exceptionally similar way. Just launch the app, type in where you want to go, and a car will arrive to take you there. Uber gift certificates can be a great way to give that gift of easy travel to a loved one.
Vacuuming is one of those things very few of us enjoy. The Jetsons owned a robot vacuum that was surprisingly similar to iRobot’s Roomba. The Roomba can be programmed to do the deed while you’re at the office so you always come home to a clean house. The vacuum can handle multiple rooms (as long as they’re on the same floor) and docks itself when it’s done cleaning, so you don’t ever have to worry about charging it up.
Does Dad have to check his blood pressure every day? Keeping up with those results can be a pain, and sending them to your doctor in a meaningful way can be even worse. Withings’ smart blood pressure monitor connects to Dad’s mobile phone and automatically logs each reading. The device’s mobile app will let him know if a reading is high, and will store every reading automatically. When Dad needs to share information with his doctor, the app emails those results in just a few seconds. The app also works with Withings’ fitness trackers and scale to store all your health data.