Back when many of us were still kids and many more had yet to even be twinkles in our mothers’ uteri, Inspector Gadget was the apotheosis of all of technology’s promises — many of which, it turns out, came true. Vanity Fair has compiled a wonderful collection of those gadgets of the inspector’s that were particularly prescient.
Essentially a Six Million Dollar Man animated for a younger generation, many of Gadget’s mechanical feats were purely for comic effect (his hat-cum-helicopter comes to mind). But many that may have seemed equally ludicrous at the time have actually become part of our everyday lives. Or are trying to, at least, like the ever-encroaching smartwatch.
Digital cameras like Penny’s were also far from being a common consumer product. As Vanity Fair notes, some of the first consumer digital cameras didn’t start hitting shelves until around the mid-1990s.
Sure, some of Vanity Fair’s picks tend to reach even farther than a go-go-gadget arm, but still, much of what once seemed so wildly inventive is now either commonplace or even outdated — it’s been 30 years since the show first aired, after all. But perhaps what’s even more amazing is the fact that some of the cartoon’s prediction that did sort of come true still manage to look just as ridiculous in their modern form. You can check out the rest of Inspector Gadget’s gizmos-come-to-life here. [Vanity Fair]