The Evolution of Virtual Reality

When Was Virtual Reality Invented?

Virtual Reality is a technology that can be considered as the next step in immersive media. Its roots, however, date back to the 1800s.

In the 1990s, Thomas Furness developed a flight simulator that was used by the Air Force. This helped to make VR a viable technology.

Palmer Luckey wowed investors with his Oculus prototype, leading to Facebook acquiring it. Since then, VR has been making major strides in the market.

The invention of the stereoscope

Virtual reality seems like a very modern technology, but it actually has roots that go back to the 1800s. In 1838, Charles Wheatstone invented the first stereoscope, a device that allowed viewers to see two images side by side to create the illusion of depth. This was the precursor to modern 3D movies.

Originally, the stereoscope was used to view stereoscopic photographs–double photos of a single scene taken from slightly different perspectives. The photos had to be held in a special viewer that allowed the eyes to blend the images together into three-dimensional viewing. This system became popular and was later used for a variety of purposes, including ‘virtual tourism’.

A stereoscope is a simple device that uses a pair of lenses to display two different images to each eye. It was very popular in the mid-1900s, and people could buy stereograph cards featuring sights from all over the world. Some were even staged and humorous, such as one showing a maid sneaking out of a manhole to meet her lover.

The invention of the head-mounted display

The invention of the head-mounted display has had a huge impact on virtual reality. It allows users to interact with a virtual environment by viewing images or video displayed directly in front of their eyes. While the current VR devices that are available on the market can be cumbersome to wear and use, it is expected that as technology advances, the devices will become more comfortable and easy to use.

Today’s VR technology is built upon concepts that started in the 1800s and developed over time. The stereoscope was invented in 1838 and developed into the View-Master, which is still produced today. Later, Morton Heilig created the Sensorama and the Telesphere Mask. In the 1960s, Ivan Sutherland created a computer simulation that replicated reality so well that the user could not differentiate it from real life. This became the fundamental blueprint for the modern VR systems that are in use today.

RYOT has been making headlines with its immersive VR experiences, including a roller coaster and a visit to a Syrian refugee camp. But virtual reality has a long way to go before it becomes widely used, especially since the industry is still defining what it is.

The invention of the virtuality system

In the 1990s, VR technology started to attract mainstream media coverage. Scott Foster founded Crystal River Engineering Inc to develop the audio element of NASA’s VIEW simulator, and real-time binaural 3D sound processing was born. Jonathan Waldern exhibited Virtuality, the first mass-produced VR arcade machine, at the Computer Graphics 90 exhibition in London. Antonio Medina designed a system to remotely drive Mars robot rovers from Earth in supposed real-time despite signal delays.

Other developments included the MIT Aspen Movie Map, which enabled users to walk through a virtual simulation of Aspen, Colorado, in three modes (summer, winter, and polygons). Jaron Lanier founded VPL Research, which developed HMDs with gloves that tracked finger movements. The company also released a product called the Data Glove, which is considered by many to be the precursor of today’s VR headsets.

VPL eventually merged with Atari and became the Atari Virtual Reality Laboratory, which closed in 1983 after two years following the video game crash of that year. However, a number of VR pioneers continued their research, including Thomas Zimmerman, who worked on the Atari VR lab and later co-founded the Oculus Rift headset with Facebook.

The invention of the virtual boy

When Virtual Boy was first unveiled at the Shoshinkai trade show in 1994 and then released later that year, many believed that it would mark a turning point for video games. After all, it promised to offer players an immersive world that they could experience through a head-mounted visor.

Despite being a relative success amongst game collectors, it failed to take off with consumers. With a price tag of $180 and just 22 games to play, Nintendo’s initial projections fell well short and the device was discontinued in less than a year.

Adding to the Virtual Boy’s ignominy was the fact that it was rumoured to be damaging to gamers’ eyesight. Although Nintendo hired a consultant to conduct research, the results of that study were kept confidential under a Non-Disclosure Agreement. It is widely believed that the red monochrome display was not good for young children’s eyesight, especially when playing for prolonged periods of time.

Shuffle back to the main page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *