The Jetsons Never Predicted Mobile Phones


I was watching an episode of the Jetsons with my five year-old the other day, when it occurred to me that, of all the futuristic inventions the creators imagined, the cell/mobile phone wasn’t among them.

It’s true — even with all the advanced technology that George, Jane, Judy, Elroy, and Astro had at their disposal, like anti-gravity belts, nuclear-powered flying cars that fold into briefcases, robot maids, automated closets, pneumatic tube people-movers, and the awesome Food-a-Rac-a-Cycle, they had no portable communications devices.

In this episode, Jane needed to tell George about something after he had already left for work. And even while he was flying in his plutonium-powered car, Jane had to wait until George was at work before dialing him up on the video phone. Amazing …

It made me wonder if mobile communications technology really is so outside of traditional human experience that its adoption in areas like mHealth is slowed by a basic,  fundamental incompatibility with humans that we’re still working through 27 or so years since the first cellular telephone system was commercially available in the US.

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