Foreshadowing Facetime

The Gotham Gal and I went to the Brooklyn Museum today to see the Pierre Cardin retrospective.

Near the end of the exhibit was a small clip from a Jetsons episode where Jane is shopping for dresses in a boutique.

She finds a dress that she likes and decides to call her friend on the TV in the store and find out what she thinks of the dress.

This is a fairly common activity these days. You see people facetiming with friends and family before they purchase something in a store.

But in the early 60s, when these Jetsons episodes were bring written, this was very far from reality.

But they imagined it and wrote it into the show.

That’s pretty cool.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Love this.With a physicist for a father, one brother a computer scientist, the other a science teacher, the Jetsons, The Twilight Zone, and Star Trek were full stop family activities in my house growing up.Ray Bradbury mandatory reading.

  2. Richard

    There may even be a Jetson episode on immunotherapies, such as Car-T therapies.Its coming …

  3. lisa hickey

    That’s awesome! It’s not just the technology they predicted, but the social behavior.

  4. J. Lightfield

    While I lament the lack of my autonomous flying car, the communication stuff and workplace open floor plans sure did materialize.

      1. J. Lightfield

        A great band indeed

  5. kenberger

    And also foreshadowing smartwatches:In the final episode of the first season, “Elroy’s Mob,” a student in Elroy’s class is slacking off watching “the billionth rerun” of The Flintstones on his wrist TV. It’s the 1960 episode “The Swimming Pool.” that’s not so far off from today’s world of smartwatches.https://uploads.disquscdn.c… atches.

  6. Rob Michlowitz

    Hey Fred,Actually, many of the seeds of modern technology were floating around in this timeframe and were on display at the 1964-65 NY World’s Fair. The concept of technological progress was addressed by an past NSF funded project completed by SREAL and ChronoPoints Labs at University of Central Florida’s Institute for Simulation and Training in “ChronoLeap: The Great World’s Fair Adventure” (https://chronopoints.eecs.u….

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      My uncle passed away recently and I’ve been going through all his stuff — he kept everything. I found some great 64-65 World’s Fair stuff…https://uploads.disquscdn.c

  7. jason wright

    The invention of the mirror. This all started there.

  8. William Mougayar

    I was recently in a fashionable boutique in Berlin, and one customer who was looking at the clothes rack pulled up her phone and was about to start face-timing, but the store rep stopped her, saying “no videos in the store please”. Not even photos were allowed.Maybe they were afraid that the footage might be used to copy their inventory or get ideas, not sure.

    1. Prokofy

      Maybe it’s like a casino, they are concerned about the privacy of their other patrons.

      1. kenberger

        yes i’d bet that’s it– especially in europe and especially here in Berlin, privacy laws are above most else.For example: Drones are outlawed in much of europe more due to the chance they carry cameras then due to safety issues (although that’s highly important too).

  9. sigmaalgebra

    That one little cartoon from The Jetsons is MUCH more important than it might seem, and 80+% of young men need to understand and for that need an explicit explanation for young men:(1) Girls and young women are commonly afraid.(2) One of their main sources of security against being afraid is friendship and bonding with females of near their own age.(3) The main means of bonding is sharing emotions, e.g., about a new dress. This is in strong contrast for the main means of male bonding — sharing information.So, in that cartoon, the technology has changed but the women are just the same as 10, 100, 1000+ years ago.How long ago? Well girls and young women in Japan and France are essentially the same on such bonding, but their most recent common ancestor was about 50,000 years ago. So those females from Japan and France are close but necessarily still closer to their most recent common ancestor. Sooo, girls and women have been doing the same for at least 50,000 years. No Silicon Valley Tech, current gender-equality, etc. will change that. Young men need to know this about females.So, cell phones came along, and what the heck was going to be the usage, the customers? Taxi drivers doing away with their old radios? Plumbers taking calls for their next job cleaning a pipe?Well how about girls and young women getting a feeling of security by getting membership in a group and bonding with other females, both by exchanging gossip and communicating emotions? Yup, that’s what happened, and way back, 10 years or 100+ years, anyone with such understanding of girls and young women, including writers and cartoonists for the Jetsons, could have predicted that.

    1. Dan T

      you are not supposed to say that 🙂

  10. Brent

    Another jetsons ep had Jane faceTiming a friend early morning and imposed an instagram type filter to improve her appearance

  11. Mike

    When I bought my last pair of glasses I texted pictures to my wife.

  12. Kelly LeValley Hunt

    We all could do with more of a “Jetson’s Tech” perspective and less of a “Fear-mongering” perspective. The world isn’t going to end because Robots kill us all off because they think they are superior and Quantum computing isn’t going to break all computers and cyber security systems and steal all our money. Well, at least not in our life time. Maybe I’m naive, maybe I’m just a Jetson at heart!

  13. Semil Shah

    Isn’t this like USV co’ ShopShops?

  14. Prokofy

    Very cool! I remember in the early 1970s, my father, who worked as an engineer at Xerox at the time, said he drew on a computer screen with something called a “light pen”. I worked there summers in the mid-1970s where we had a “telecopier” which was essentially a fax. I took dictation about something that seemed to be the PC they later gave away to Apple essentially. Yes, TVs and radios and smart phones all seem to be predicted even centuries early. But did anyone predict social media?

  15. pointsnfigures

    Let’s hope someone doesn’t read George Orwell 1984 or Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451and use it as a “how to” manual.

  16. Joe Marchese

    Perhaps Ray Ozzie’s most important contribution, at least while at MSFT:“In our industry, if you can imagine something, you can build it… And so the first step for each of us is to imagine fearlessly; to dream.”

  17. bfeld

    I learned everything I know about the future from watching The Jetsons as a kid.

  18. Michael Elling

    The AT&T picture-phone at the 1963 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows was considered a huge commercial flop. A little over a decade later an AT&T economist at Bell-Labs, Jeffrey Rohlfs, wrote a WP called “A Theory of Interdependent Demand for a Communication Service” in which he analyzed the failure and was the first to model what we call network effects today; only he called it Bandwagon Effects.Alas, even mighty AT&T didn’t learn from his work and it took breaking up good old Ma-Bell for the competitive WAN industry to lay the commercial foundations for the internet and competitive wireless networks to give rise to Facetime/Whatsapp/Skype, etc… Except wait! They don’t talk to each other! Gosh, imagine if the latter really understood what broader Bandwagon Effects there could be if they were to work together.