Time Traveling

“Once confined to fantasy and science fiction,
time travel is now simply an engineering problem.”
Michio Kaku

Mr Peabody

Mr. Peabody, his boy Sherman and the “Wayback Machine”

The concept of traveling backward and forward in time has always held my fascination. My interest began as a child. Introduced to the idea of time travel by none other than Mr. Peabody and his Wayback machine.

Conceptually, time travel goes back several centuries. Long before H. G. Wells wrote the book, The Time Machine, Japanese, Hindu, and Buddhist all wrote about time travel. In more recent times, people such as Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku have discussed the possibilities of traveling back and forth in time.

Time travel will forever be one of my favorite genres of novels and movies. Whether I’m reading Stephen King’s novel 11/26/63 or watching, Midnight in Paris, and Back to the Future for the hundredth time, the idea of going back to a time before I existed will always hold my interest in time traveling.

Shine On

Back To The Present

“Now, if my calculations are correct,
when this baby hits 88 miles an hour,
you’re going to see some serious shit!”
Dr. Emmett Brown

Back to The Future Day

One of the best movie series of all time is Back To The Future. My two favorites are the first and third of the series. Some of you diehard BTTF fans may recall in the second of the series Marty and Doc travel to October 21, 2015.

Today, almost thirty years after the second movie was made, we are wondering, how much of the future did Robert Zemeckis get right?

In some cases, Zemeckis’ 2015 isn’t too far from reality. For example, we don’t have hoverboads yet, but Japanese car company Lexus recently unveiled a prototype for a real, rideable hoverboard. A company called Arx Pax in California is also working on its own version. Unfortunately they both rely on magnets, so are unlikely to be able to fly over water like Marty’s.

How about wearable technology? Marty’s future kids wear headsets at the dinner table to make and receive calls and watch TV. With the introduction of Google Glass in 2013, and gaming headsets like Oculus Rift in the works, virtual reality is not far off, and Microsoft’s recently announced Hololens more than a passing resemblance to Junior’s goggles.

How about video calls?  Marty’s video call with his co-worker Needles seemed like a futuristic dream, but with FaceTime and Skype now staples, the video call has evolved from a business medium to an essential of everyday life.

What about hands-free gaming? While we don’t see it in the film, kids at Cafe 80s mock Marty for having to use his hands to play an arcade game, implying that Xbox Kinect-style gaming is the norm in their 2015. And guess what, it is.

How about the iPad or tablet computers?  When Doc meets Marty by the clock tower, he is brandishing what looks like an iPad-style tablet computer. Today, tablets are commonplace with 233 million units expected to be sold in 2015.

What about fingerprint recognition? Most of us don’t use it to get into our house, but fingerprint recognition is now a major part of many people’s lives, being used on several smartphones to unlock them or pay for items.

Then there was the famous self-tying shoes. Marty’s self-tying trainers were one of the weirder inventions features in Back to the Future II. Nike designer Tinker Hatfield has confirmed he and his team are working on a consumer version of the shoes, complete with self-tying laces, and hopes to have them ready for sale by the end of 2015.

Sure, there were a few things that Zemeckis got wrong. Such as flying cars and power clothing but I must admit, Zemeckis not only made a great film but showed us what the future had in store for us. Bringing us back to the present.

Shine On