If you could relive any one day of your life, what would it be? The day your first child was born? The day you turned sixteen? The day you met your spouse? Or perhaps your wedding day? Imagine for a minute if you wanted to relive your wedding day. How would do it? Today the best option you might have is to replay your wedding video. But that still only offers a limited perspective from the viewpoint of a single camera.
What if you could actually go back in time and relive that day? But not as the bride or groom – as a spectator using a real-world time machine. You would be able to revisit the rehearsal dinner, the ceremony, the photo shoot and the reception. You would be able to stand on stage with the band. You will be able to listen in on bar chatter of your former fraternity brothers. You will be able to sit in on the family table listening to your uncle argue with your cousin about who is going to win the World Series.
The experience will be so life-like that you will be able to actually feel the breeze blowing through your hair, smell the flower centerpieces on each table and feel the perspiration on the back of your neck. You’ll be able to pull up your smartphone and watch as your guests post comments on Facebook; photos on Instagram or videos on Meerkat. You will be able to pull up your email to watch as messages come in. You will be able to check CNN to see breaking news as it emerges. And while your wife is not looking you might even sneak a peek at ESPN to check the score of a baseball game mid-inning.
But, there will be one major limitation. You won’t be able to talk to any of the guests. Interactions of any kind would violate the golden law of time travel. Even the slightest interaction could inadvertently impact something in a way that forever changes the course of history. In fact, the time machine will be built in such a way that it will be impossible to interact with the past preventing you from any temptation that might exist. You will be more like a ghost watching from the sidelines as the event passes.
Time travel won’t be limited to just reliving your wedding day. You will be able to relive your child’s first birthday; your daughter’s first dance recital; and your son’s high school graduation.
You will be able to go back in time to visit major sporting events like the SuperBowl, World Cup or NBA Finals. You will be able to go back in time to watch political events like Presidential inaugurations or Congressional hearings. You will be able to watch the ball drop for New Years in Times Square and the fireworks over the Washington Monument on the 4th of July.
How will the time machine work? Well, you won’t need Doc Brown. You won’t need a DeLorean traveling at 88 miles per hour. And you won’t need 1.21 Jigawatts of electricity to make the jump.
The technology already exists to build a time machine. We just have not connected the dots.
In a few weeks, I will travel back in time to update this post with an explanation of how it will work.