Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Very Jetsons Future

So I'm watching the Eureka marathon on the Sci-Fi Channel today (season premiere Tuesday!) and I looked up to see Carter and some guy having a serious discussion in a vehicle as they raced to wherever it is they were going. True to its tongue-in-cheek nature, the tone is somber and tense, the dialogue heavy... then they pan-out to show the two of them going maybe 15mph in an ugly, completely utilitarian, battery-powered vehicle.

Of course it was meant to inject a little humor into the moment, but it was also meant to reinforce the futuristic, intellectual basis of the series. After all, battery-powered vehicles -- while they go neither far nor fast -- are imminently "green" technology, cheaper and more efficient, and definitely have their place in automotive advancement. While they may not be the "wave of future transportation," they are definitely one step in its advancement.

So, are we facing a Jetsons-inspired future?

I have to admit, it seems plausible.

Of course, I am referring to the animation style of the classic cartoon -- where the technology was incredibly personal, compact, and... "cute." Of course, these various technologies will be highly personalized and once the core technology is stabilized, corporations will immediately fall all over one another in their attempts to create the "coolest" designs, etc. But at the bottom of it all, incredibly compact, efficient technology is definitely where we are headed.

And though that's all fine and good, I urge you to look up an episode or some stills from the classic cartoon and think about those hybrid cars while you do!

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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