Time machines bring up images of flying cars, voyages to the past to hang out with historical figures, and alien technology. Today, time travel isn’t really about alien technology or flying cars and is more about how we perceive our reality. Tablets and computers have the capability of transporting us to the past, different aspects of the present, and the future through mixed reality. 

While mixed reality won’t let you physically travel back in time, it can transport you visually. Imagine being able to see Machu Picchu being built or Rome in its heyday. Archaeologists use the information and artifacts gathered from excavations to paint a picture of the past regardless of whether that past occurred thousands of years ago or 50 years ago. Mixed reality is a new, immersive way archaeologists and fans of history can experience the past. Here’s a taste of how that can happen. 

Experience History with All Senses

New technology is allowing users to experience the past not just visually but with all of our senses. Mixed reality allows us to not only see the past but live in it. Imagine if you could see the past but smell and hear the past as well. This comprehensive approach to history is an incredible tool for archaeologists who can rebuild dig sites to better visualize the data they produce. It’s also an educational tool to help people learn more and become more interested in the past that helped shape the future. 

New innovations allow you to smell odors such as campfires, roasting meat, and other smells that were prominent during the time period. This combined with the visual and sound aspects gives users an experience that is unparalleled in mixed reality. Experiencing history in such an immersive way breathes new life into the past through a technology that many people argued was becoming stale. 

Reality Check

Some argue that mixed reality has already hit its peak and is no longer a “cool” technology. The ability to bring odor, vision, and sound together in an ultimate experience argues the opposite. If done well, the applications are limitless. Archaeologists can visually present data to better understand a site and how artifacts and data translate into real life experiences. Teachers can engage students on a much higher level by showing them not just photos but an immersion into the past. 

This tool is absolutely in its infancy, but the possibilities are seemingly endless. Mixed reality is nothing new, but all it takes is one breakthrough for it to reach new heights no one previously imagined. Technology has long been accused of bringing people farther away from each other and the real world. This tool has the power to bring us closer together and to the real world by forging a stronger connection between ourselves and the past.