We hear the term Virtual Reality being thrown around everywhere, sometimes even mistakenly when talking about Augmented Reality, but what is the history of this technology?
The Beginning (1935 – 1980’s)
Even before actual VR googles were made there was a concept for this tech. In 1935 Stanley Weinbaum published a science fiction story called Pygmalion’s Spectacles. This story had a pair of goggles featuring holographic recordings. People widely regard this as the start of Virtual Reality. Later in 1956 Cinematographer Morton Heilig created the Sensorama, a large room which could fit four people at a time. Not only did it give you full color 3d video but also audio, rumble, smell and wind. Heilig later created the Telephere mask. This being a head mounted display with a wide screen and stereo sound.
The Philco Company later (in 1961) released Headsight. This also was a head mounted display but with motion sensors. Between 1961 and 1968 these innovations were used mostly by the military, until in 1986 Ivan Sutherland and his student Bob Sproull created the first Virtual Reality head mounted display called The Sword Of Damocles
Between then and 2012 most of the VR tech was used by big companies and the government to train people, with a few exceptions.
Modern Era (1980’s – Now)
Nintendo and Sega both released gaming systems that used Virtual Reality but both failed to gain a wide audience.
In 2012 Luckey created a Kickstarter page for their Oculus Rift which raised 2,4 million dollars. Facebook bought Oculus in 2014 which made VR grow exponentially to the behemoth we know today.
Nowadays VR is used for games, movies and anything in between. This prompted giant companies like Sony, HTC and Google to create their own headsets.
We at Apollo can’t see Virtual Reality stopping anytime soon, and can see innovations change the way we do our daily activities.
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