Retrofuturist Flashback: The Control Box

Control everything! © PoodlesRock/PoodlesRock/Corbis

Here we see a vintage 1949 glimpse into the future! Behold the modern housewife, whose technology allows here to control lights, play the radio, start breakfast, wash the dishes, speak to members of the family in other rooms and watches her children -- all from the comfort of bed!

Fast-forward to today and our control boxes are much smaller. They fit in the palm of our hand and you can accomplish most or all of these tasks with the right combination of equipment and downloadable apps. Though I think the "start breakfast" thing might be a bit limited.

About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.