- The common belief is that virtual reality is a brand new phenomenon. However, VR has a rich storied past that spans well over a century in the making. In the 1890s, Thomas Edison and William Dickson create the kinetograph and kinetoscope, the first single-person film experience. In 1929, the first mechanical flight simulator is developed by Edwin Link, with the Link Trainer and Pilot Maker. In 1956, Morton Heilig, a filmmaker, develops artificial sensory machines, including an early head-mounted display.
In 1962, Heilig would go on to patent the Sensorama, that allows the viewer to experience artificial sight, sound, smell and even vibration. Morton Heilig is regarded by many as the true father of virtual reality. In 1962 to 1968, Ivan Sutherland develops Sketchpad, an early light pen, computer drawing system, a key development for real-time computer graphics. He also produces a sophisticated head-mounted display with stereo 3D. In 1970, computer scientist Myron Krueger opens Videoplace, a virtual reality, explorative laboratory.
In 83, Myron Krueger coins the term artificial reality. In 1989, computer scientist Jaron Lanier coins the term virtual reality. He develops VPL Research to produce VR head-mounted displays and haptic data gloves. 1994, Dave Raggett develops VRML, Virtual Reality Mark-up Language. 2011, in his parent's garage, Palmer Luckey develops the Oculus Rift, a home-made, head-mounted display.
In 2014, Facebook goes on to acquire Oculus in a deal worth well over two billion dollars. 2016 forward, the modern day, or next era, of virtual reality hardware begins to ship with many companies and devices available to consumers to explore and develop virtual reality. Virtual reality history is certainly rich and detailed, but we truly are only beginning to see where this technology can take us.
- What is virtual reality?
- Types of virtual reality
- Using virtual reality in business, filmmaking, AEC, and more
- Developing VR content
- The future of VR