Someone Owes Me A Flying Car!
When we were growing up everyone kept saying that in the year 2000 we would have flying cars!
Robots would tend to our every need, we could choose the eye color of our child, and telephones would have TV in them. Jobs would become a thing of the past and everyone would live much longer. We would have an endless supply of food after harvesting the sea and fabricating synthetic proteins from sources such as crude oil.
The predictors believed that the world would become steadily more crowded, but improved transportation and housing would relieve the stress of daily living and commuting. Sophisticated teaching machines would speed up the learning process, and translating machines would be developed to eliminate the language barrier in world communications.
Every family could be just like George and Jane Jetson; they could go into their space-age kitchen and just push a button to get any type of food their heart desired. Forget about cupboards and drawers full of dinnerware, since instantly molded plastic plates, cups, and saucers will be created on the tabletop, to be recycled after use. The evening meal selections can be entered into the computer in the morning and are hot and ready the moment you get home.
They said that robots would be quite common, and very nice, just like the robots on TV, except for the monster ones. Some of the better models would have the ability to hear and speak, while others could have x-ray vision to help keep your family safe or be fitted with various attachments such as power tools or even medical devices. You would plug them in at night and the next day they would be charged and ready to go. If something were to go wrong, no problem – just call the robot repairman.
Some of these forward seers were educated and well-known, and thus their visions were given little scrutiny and much hoopla. Others were less than famous and their predictions circulated in newspapers, handbills, and at freak shows, circuses, and other such gatherings.
After some digging around we came up with some downright real zingers, like the one that said our flying car airways would be so crowded that they would be patrolled by traffic cops using jetpacks. Another one suggested home heating would be provided by Radium. We’re especially fond of the idea of mail carriers or milkmen using high-tech ‘jet-powered backpacks’ to quickly bounce from home to home, as depicted in the visionary artwork of Arthur Rudebaugh.
“I remember reading some old Life magazine from the 1960s predicting what life would be like in the 21st century. They thought we’d have flying cars, robot assistants, and everything would be powered by nuclear fission.” – A recent Quora post
“Your personal telephone will be small enough to carry in your handbag. Your house telephone will record messages, answer simple inquiries, and transmit vision.”
Robert Heinlein, the “Dean of science fiction writers”, 1966
The New York World’s Fair of 1964 introduced 51 million visitors to a range of technological innovations and predictions. It was here that Bell System introduced the ‘Picturephone’, which allowed people to see whom they were calling. It didn’t go over well at the time, but now it’s a concept that’s an everyday part of our lives with apps such as Skype and Facetime.
We also discovered that there were more than a few insights about life in the year 2000 that kinda missed the mark.
“Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”
Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox, 1946
“Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within ten years.”
Alex Lewyt, president of Lewyt vacuum company, 1955
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977
This 1950 issue of Science and Mechanics announced the arrival of the electronic garage door opener, which you would use to keep your car of the future out of the weather. They probably didn’t imagine the unit on the right, let alone foresee that the door opener duties would someday be parked on our smartphones.
Today we have all things futuristic. Right now Mr. John Q. Public can see inside his home, anytime and anywhere, just by pushing some numbers on his phone. We can transmit motion pictures and photographs and sounds and other digital information across the hall or around the world. Our vehicles are slowly progressing, and some of them can keep drivers from nodding off, or drive or park themselves while you watch a movie in the back seat. We can send a person to the moon, create objects of our own design in three dimensions (as predicted in the dinnerware example), or etch the entire Bible on the head of a pin.
ScienceWiz DNA Experiment Kit is in stores today, and the name alone conjures up some of the silly scenes from horror movies of the past. Scientists help us determine our risks for certain ailments, tell us where our ancestors came from, and warn us about the possibility of our offspring being born ‘abnormal’. We live in a world with missiles that are designed solely to destroy other missiles and can be launched with a tiny handset. In outer space, satellites tell us where we are and where we’re going while they relay pornographic images and religious programming at the same time. Neighboring space machines track and analyze global weather, while others are on the lookout for weapons of mass destruction or inbound asteroids that threaten our planet.
When we were growing up we couldn’t buy scary socks or shoelaces that do not need to be tied – now we can. Clothing has evolved to a point where we now have shoes with tiny wheels in the soles so we can ‘coast’ down the street. Sweaters with sewn-in speakers and blinking lights, a wearable discotheque. We have electric cars and solar-powered golf carts, and our refrigerator comes equipped with a webcam that gives us the ability to “go look in the fridge” even when our kitchen is thousands of miles away. We used to go on walks, but now if we don’t really feel like walking we just bust out the ‘people mover’ in the garage and go for a spin.
As kids, we’d gather around the TV on Christmas Day to watch the football playoff games while enjoying our new toys. Today kids don’t want socks (scary or otherwise) as presents, instead, they wish for Angry Birds, Minecraft, or some other title from the video game craze, delivered within minutes by a drone from Amazon. When they go outside or tag along while we shop we’re able to relax and keep them relatively safe with the help of My Buddy Tag or SAFE Kids Paxie Band, two modern gizmos that use GPS and other technologies to show their location, display their pulse and the temperature of their environment, or even sound an alarm if they were to fall into water.
All this stuff makes us wonder what new and improved aspects of our life will appear next. Will young people today actually be able to someday choose the eye color of their children, or will it extend further, allowing for right-or-left handed options, or deep voices, super-defined lashes, or even the ability to give birth to the next Picasso? What are the predictions being made today for life on Earth in the coming years? That’s a topic that BoomerSwag has decided to examine in the future – pun intended.
We encourage you to take advantage of current technology by clicking on any of the items shown, to be delivered by modern methods, no drones involved. And you can call us old-fashioned, but we’re sure that someone should take little Dinky out of his box and give him a real-life, back-in-the-day, rejuvenating walk around the block.