Invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone, it used a pair of angled mirrors to guide the user's left and right-eye views to the same scene as a single 3D image.

In the mid-20th century, the Stereoscope was widely used for 'virtual tourism' and then became widely used as a toy for children. In 2010, Hasbro started producing modern Stereoscopes designed to hold Apple’s iPhone or iPod Touch, called the My3D.

STEREOSCOPE

1838

1838

Invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone, it used a pair of angled mirrors to guide the user's left and right-eye views of the same scene to a single 3D image.

In the mid-20th century, the Stereoscope was widely used for 'virtual tourism' and then became widely used as a toy for children. In 2010, Hasbro started producing modern Stereoscopes designed to hold Apple’s iPhone or iPod Touch, called the My3D.

1939

Invented by Ed Mayer, the View-Master was first introduced at the 1939 World’s Fair as an alternative to the scenic postcard.

By 1940, the U.S. military recognized the potential for using View-Masters for soldier training. 100,000 viewers and 6 million reels were purchased by the U.S. military from 1942 to the end of World War II.

VIEW-MASTER

Invented by Ed Mayer, the View-Master was first introduced at the 1939 World’s Fair as an alternative to the scenic postcard.

By 1940, the U.S. military recognized the potential for using View-Masters for soldier training. 100,000 viewers and 6 million reels were purchased by the U.S. military from 1942 to the end of World War II. 

1961

Developed by the Philco Corporation for more realistic military training, Headsight connected to a camera allowed for dynamic viewing of remote areas.

Although Headsight used a small video screen, this was not true VR technology because it lacked computer simulation. 

HEADSIGHT

STEROSCOPE

Invented by Morton Heilig, the Sensorama was the first fully immersive, multi-sensory experience available to the public.

The Sensorama included a stereoscopic color display, fans, odor emitters, stereo‐sound system, and a motional vehicle or seat. A simulated motorcycle ride through New York could be experienced by having the spectator sit on an imaginary motorcycle while viewing the street through the screen, feeling the fan-generated wind, and listening to recorded sounds of the city.

1962

SENSORAMA

Invented by Morton Heilig, the Sensorama was the first fully immersive, multi-sensory experience available to the public.

The Sensorama included a stereoscopic color display, fans, odor emitters, stereo‐sound system, and a motional vehicle or seat. A simulated motorcycle ride through New York could be experienced by having the spectator sit on an imaginary motorcycle while viewing the street through the screen, feeling the fan-generated wind, and listening to recorded sounds of the city.

1968

The first true Head Mounted Display (HMD) was created by Ivan Sutherland and Bob Sproull, who utilized the output from a computer program to display a virtual environment.

To support the weight of Sutherland's equipment, the HMD had to be attached to a mechanical arm and suspended from the ceiling of the lab.

THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES

Created by Thomas Zimmerman, the Data Glove opened up the possibility of manipulating and re-orienting virtual objects.

The Glove contained fiber-optic bundles that tracked movement through 6,502 micro-controllers that were wired to a computer. The data would then be transmitted to the computer so that the information could be duplicated virtually. 

1987

VPL DATA GLOVE

Created by Thomas Zimmerman, the Data Glove opened up the possibility of manipulating and re-orienting virtual objects.

The Glove contained fiber-optic bundles that tracked movement through 6,502 micro-controllers that were wired to a computer. The data would then be transmitted to the computer so that the information could be duplicated virtually. 

1990

Developed by Virtuality Group, this series of multiplayer arcade games made a fully immersive system available to the public for the first time.

Virtuality Group developed many of the principal components including VR headsets, graphics subsystems, 3D trackers, exoskeleton data gloves and other enclosure designs.

VIRTUALITY

Widely considered to be a commercial failure, Nintendo developed the first console capable of displaying stereoscopic 3D graphics. The games used the Parallax Effect to create the illusion of depth in still images. 

Virtual Boy was known for its high price tag, unimpressive "3D" effect, and lack of portability. Only 800,000 units were sold and it couldn’t outrun multiple rounds of retail price slashing before being discontinued. Nintendo eventually got 3D technology right years later when they launched their 3DS handheld console.

1995

NINTENDO VIRTUAL BOY

Widely considered to be a commercial failure, Nintendo developed the first console capable of displaying stereoscopic 3D graphics. The games use the Parallax Effect to create the illusion of depth in still images.

Virtual Boy was known for its high price tag, unimpressive "3D" effect, and lack of portability. Only 800,000 units sold and it couldn’t outrun multiple rounds of retail price slashing before being discontinued. Nintendo eventually got 3D technology right years later when they launched their 3DS handheld console.

NINTENDO VIRTUAL BOY

2011

While a consumer version was not available until 2016, Palmer Lucky began the development of this monumental VR headset at the age of 18 in his parents’ garage.

Thanks to a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, Lucky was able to create various pre-production models, sell his Development Kit 1 at a rate of 4-5 per minute, and eventually bring the most advanced VR to the general public. The consumer-ready Rift made it’s debut in 2016 and was discontinued in 2019 to make room for its successor, Oculus Rift S. 

OCULUS RIFT

With the first major commercial release of a sensory-based tracking system, the public could now experience free movement within a defined space.

Digital Trends named the HTC Vive the Best Product of 2016 due to its advanced level of VR immersion.

2016

HTC VIVE

With the first major commercial release of a sensory-based tracking system, the public could now experience free movement within a defined space.

Digital Trends named the HTC Vive the Best Product of 2016 due to its advanced level of VR immersion.

2017

Virtuix introduced the ability to traverse VR environments using foot tracking sensors on a concave platform. 

Virtuix also launched their Omniverse content platform, transforming the Omni into a complete commercial entertainment system with more than 15 top VR games for users to choose from. 

VIRTUIX OMNI

Virtuix introduced the ability to traverse VR environments using foot tracking sensors on a concave platform. 

Virtuix also launched their Omniverse content platform, transforming the Omni into a complete commercial entertainment system with more than 15 top VR games for users to choose from.

The 8K gained attention at CES and achieved a dramatic improvement in screen resolution and field of view (FOV). 

Rift, Vive, and other headsets provide a FOV of 110 degrees while the 8K increases the FOV to around 200 degrees, allowing users to perceive more of their environment in their peripherals. 

2019

PIMAX 8K

The 8K gained attention at CES and achieved a dramatic improvement in screen resolution and field of view (FOV). 

Rift, Vive, and other headsets provide a FOV of 110 degrees while the 8K increases the FOV to around 200 degrees, allowing users to perceive more of their environment in their peripherals. 

INSIDE-OUT

TRACKING

Inside-out tracking promises to eliminate the need for external sensors while greatly improving the mobility of VR experiences. As the headset moves, the sensor re-coordinates its place in the room, giving the impression that you're moving through your simulated environment in real-time. 

As AR, VR, and XR technology advance, the freedom of inside-out tracking will become essential and the demand for more mobility will continue to increase.

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VIRTUAL REALITY

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