From Instagram filters to smart watches: 12 technologies 1960s TV show ‘The Jetsons’ accurately predicted

As US billionaire Jared Isaacman declares his space mission goal is to create a world like ‘The Jetsons’, we reveal the 2021 technology the show anticipated 59 years ago

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On Tuesday, US billionaire Jared Isaacman, 38, made headlines when he announced his plans to buy up an entire SpaceX flight to take three people with him to circle the globe.

Unable to keep the boyish enthusiasm from his reasoning, the pilot-turned-technology entrepreneur declared: "I truly want us to live in a world 50 or 100 years from now where people are jumping in their rockets like The Jetsons and there are families bouncing around on the Moon with their kid in a spacesuit."

For the uninitiated, The Jetsons was an animated children's TV show from Hanna-Barbera Productions that was broadcast from September 1962 to March 1963, running for 24 episodes. It was later rebooted in 1985.

The animated sitcom featured the Jetson family – George and Jane, their children Judy and Elroy, their robot maid Rosey and dog, Astro – who lived in space, and was set in the year 2056, almost a century on from the year it was first shown in 1962.

Living in Orbit City, patriarch George flew his spaceship each day to work at Spacely Space Sprockets, Inc, while the family home featured a host of fantastical mod-cons, including a robot that took care of the housework, smart watches, video phones and jetpacks. And in the kitchen, any meal could be made in a matter of seconds at the touch of a button.

A product of its time that was ahead of its time

The show was created at a time when the US was heavily embroiled in the Vietnam War and the Cuban Missile Crisis. However, it was also in 1962 that American physicist John Mauchly co-designed a computer the size of a suitcase (as opposed to the room-sized ones that were the norm at the time) and predicted everyone would be walking around with their own personalised computer within a decade.

The Jetsons also launched at the peak of the "Space Race", and seven months before it was first broadcast, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, while Neil Armstrong would land on the Moon seven years later.

"It coincided with this period of American history when there was a renewed hope – the beginning of the '60s, sort of pre-Vietnam, when Kennedy was in power," Danny Graydon, author of The Jetsons: The Official Guide to the Cartoon Classic, told Smithsonian Magazine. "So there was something very attractive about the nuclear family with good honest values thriving well into the future. I think that chimed with the zeitgeist of the American culture of the time."

Fifty-nine years on, scroll through the gallery above for a look at what The Jetsons predicted for the future we're living in now …

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