The History of VR: A Brief Summary
Do you know about the history of Virtual Reality? It actually reaches over a century back into history. Given how big it is to Holon’s future, we thought we’d take you on a tour of VR’s history, complete with a video to watch. It’s utterly fascinating how long humankind has been trying to supplant our own reality!
The first true VR device must be the stereo-scope, which would be later patented and branded as the View-Master. It goes back as far as 1838. It allowed people to see still images in three dimensions using a pair of two-dimensional pictures taken in tandem.
One of the first references to something akin to a Virtual Reality device was in a work of fiction published in 1935. Stanley G. Weinbaum wrote “Pygmalion’s Spectacles”, in which an inventor creates a pair of spectacles that allows the user to experience all five senses at once when watching a program.
Back in our July 2020 blog, we talked about how long the first flight simulators have been around. The ones that created a virtual sense of reality… geography and obstacles to face… have been around since 1954. In truth, other simulators had been in service for as long as human flight has been possible… this was simply the first to create artificial conditions for a pilot to worry about.
Morton Heilig’s Sensorama (in 1956) recreated the experience of being on a motorcycle and driving– the buzz of the motorcycle, the smell of the engine oil, the wind in your face. His Telesphere Mask is the first real Head-Mounted Display (HMD), what the modern VR goggle is built around.
“Virtual Reality” wasn’t coined as an expression until the mid-1980’s, when Jaron Lanier, founder of VPL Research, began to incorporate gloves and goggles into his HMD. Since then, there have been 8-bit video games done as VR headsets (the Virtual Boy from Nintendo) and sets created by mounting your own cell phone to your face!
Take a full tour of the history with ThrillSeeker’s entertaining look at the brief history of Virtual Reality!