Baby Boomers, the future you were promised has arrived
Thus, please stop complaining to futurists that you were cheated
Whether I’m speaking on the road as a keynote speaker or consulting in a company or hanging out at a cocktail party, the moment I say that I study future trends, there is a high likelihood that somebody born between 1946 and 1964 who will take me to task:
“Hey Mister Future Man — I was promised flying cars and rocket packs. WHERE IS MY ROCKET PACK.”
This has annoyed me for years, since I never personally promised anybody a rocket pack and I do not feel that our discussions about the future of healthcare or the implications of ubiquitous GPS tags should be derailed by the imaginary, non-binding contract signed by this person and The Jetsons television program.
That said, I have just realized that the recent newscycle around emerging technologies basically means that the Retro Boomer 2015 Future has actually arrived. This means that we can tally up the future technologies you were promised and be done with it! Hooray!
Let’s go into Tha Fuuuuuuture, which really is Now, for once.
1. Flying cars
Yo Boomers, you wanted a flying car enough to complain to me about it at 713 speaking gigs, conferences, and dinners? I offer you the Aeromobil 3.0, a real flying car that they hope to have on the market by 2017. Never you mind that the reason the Jetsons needed flying cars was that the surface of the Earth had been ecologically ruined, and never mind that the same idiots who cut you off in the mall parking lot can now run into you in three dimension — you guys have your flying cars, as promised.
2. The jetpack
Complaints about flying cars are never alone; they are always accompanied by a desire to get to work in a personal rocket pack. Boomers, I give you the Martin Jetpack, the “world’s first practical jetpack.” You too can experience the thrill of learning to drive a second time in an aircraft that is in no way aerodynamic! Try not to run into any flying cars on the way to work!
3. The three-hour workday
One of the most adorably wrong forecasts about The Jetsons is the notion that society would somehow preserve the lifetime employment promises of mid-20th century America (*promises to white males, that is; your mileage may vary) instead of a precarious worklife of Uber driving and apps that let you find unpaid internships.
On second thought, at least one guy has seen your three-hour workday, and raised you something even more impressive.
4. Robot maids
Not only do we have the Roomba doing simple household chores, those crafty Japanese (facing a massive aging population, a worker shortage, and a distaste for immigrant labor) have made humanoid robots that can assist the with the care and feeding of the aged. You program in some insecurity, and you got your Rosie.
5. Meals in a pill
The notion of all your food coming from pills was never very likely, especially since proteins are molecules that don’t compress especially well. I’d say that the existence of workout powders and Ensure probably fulfills this part of the contract. If that’s not enough, now we have Palcohol. If being able to sneak vodka tonics into your three-hour job [which is an unpaid internship, but hey] isn’t enough future for you, I don’t know what to say.
6. Supercomputers in your wristwatch
Look Boomers, if having a watch that holds every encyclopedia on Earth, your entire groovy record collection, and the ability to contact billions of other humans isn’t enough future for you, I’m really, really sorry. Oh, and you can take it on an airplane where it will also freaking work.
Ok Boomers, you get me? We’re done here. You got your future and then some. Oh by the way, we have a mocha-colored dude as president and gay people can get married in Alabama.
Now let’s talk about the next future. It’s gonna be pretty cool as well.