Operating in a manor similar to that of the Ankh, the Hourglass had the capabilities to open passages in time and allow individuals to experience both past or future manifestations of people and places for limited time. While the artifact did not allow one to pass through time, it instead mimicked the actions, mannerisms of those called out upon.
The Templar Emperor Nero used the Hourglass as a means to oppress the people of the Roman Empire and assert his rule, while the Roman General Suetonius utilized it to receive tactical superiority during the Boudicca Rebellion and the Year of the Four Emperors. During the same Civil War, the assassin Quintus Metus Falco used the Hourglass to receive guidance and assistance from the Assassin's Altaïr Ib-La'Ahad, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, and Ratonhnhaké:ton, after asking the artifact to show him "those who had hope".
- According to emails read by Desmond in 2012, at least one Piece of Eden existed that granted the ability to manipulate the flow of time, but was locked away by Abstergo Industries to prevent possible paradoxes. As part of Assassin's Creed Canon, this statement would make a "Hourglass of Eden" not entirely implausible.