"Meet George Jetson! ... Jane, his wife!"
As those familiar lyrics and the tune from Hanna-Barbera's classic space-age cartoon, "The Jetsons" joyfully bounces in your ears, it is likely you will remember the futuristic themes scattered throughout the show.
An alarm clock that communicates with your daily planner - waking you up early for your 5 a.m. flight. A washer and dryer that reads your tags and gives you advice about stain removal. Or even the ability to turn your home lights on and off while you are sipping pi a coladas a thousand miles away. But if you thought these seemingly outrageous and unimaginable concepts were only possible in a cartoon, think again.
In 1999, a Jetsons-like idea known as a "the Internet of Things" was introduced to the world. The idea states that one day our physical surroundings will be able to communicate with our digital life - and it is becoming a reality.
According to Wikipedia, the beginning of the ultra-modern theory suggests that all things in our daily life will eventually come equipped with small identifying devices powered by radio frequencies - the same idea as tagging animals in the wild.
These identifiers would enable us easily to track general things like keys, shoes and the remote control. It also will assist businesses by identifying inventory and wasted goods across the globe.
More than a decade later - with more than 1.7 billion people currently connected to the Internet, and possibly as many as 2.6 billion people by 2015 - the Internet of Things is beginning to show signs of realism with a major corporation seeing potential in the idea.
In a recently submitted video, IBM has indicated the company's intent to take charge of the Internet of Things theory by saying data is essential and explaining that the driving force that makes the Internet of Things possible is the ability to access user data.
IBM then maps out what they call an ideal morning: Your alarm clock wakes you up early for a meeting by syncing with your digital calendar. The alarm clock also checks on ferry times and calculates these to determine your wake time. While driving to catch your ferry, your vehicle interacts with the ferry system and advises you whether your ferry is on time or delayed.
Jumping from the ideal to the realistic, many products are beginning to emerge that would make George Jetson feel right at home.
Ambient, a highly regarded gadget and device company, has designed a clock that pulls data directly from your Google Calendar, and displays colorful notifications that inform you about upcoming events.
SmartLabs technology company has come up with a way to illuminate your home and control your entertainment system though a Web-enabled phone.
Touch Revolution built a Google Android powered washer/dryer, fully equipped with a stain guide, touchscreen controls and a tag decoder for those hard to read labels.
But will the Internet of Things catch on?
As our world becomes more connected to the Internet, so will our things. It only is a matter of time before all our gadgets have a data plan attached to them, with rebates being offered for light switches and two-year agreements for door knobs.
Over the next few years while you are watching TV on your toaster and looking up recipes on your microwave, pay attention to how dependent you are becoming on these devices.
I believe we should strive to remember that as our things become more connected to us, we should not become overly connected to our things.
What do you think?