AR/VR History/Timelines

A brief history of VR:

The first two real attempts of VR was in 1993 and 1995 as both big gaming companies at the time Nintendo and sega both were trying to get into the VR world respectively. Sega’s VR headset would have been on the Sega Genesis console, unfortunately, due to the technical limitations, the headset was a huge flop. After that Nintendo’s Virtual boy to the scene as the first ever portable console with 3D graphics and again due to the colour not showing properly and a lack of software support it was difficult to use and soon after was discontinued.

VR development kind of died down a bit for at lease 15 years but as computer technology advanced so did the technology capable of working a VR headset. Recently companies like Google have released interim virtual reality products such as the Google Cardboard, a DIY headset that uses a smartphone to drive it. Companies like Samsung have taken this concept further with products such as the Galaxy Gear, which is mass produced and contains “smart” features such as gesture control. Nowadays there are so many companies fighting for the top spot in VR technology constantly getting smarter and more advanced the main hitters at the moment are Oculus Rift, Valve corporation, and HTC, Microsoft as well as Sony Computer Entertainment.


A brief history of AR:

Some people could easily go further back in time to find examples of information overlays that were layered on top of the real life, the first evidence of real life with computer-generated information occurred in the 1960s. Ivan Sutherland can be credited with starting the field that would eventually turn into both VR and AR. In 1965, he postulated the ultimate display in an essay that contains the following famous quote:

“The ultimate display would, of course, be a room within which the computer can control the existence of matter. A chair displayed in such a room would be good enough to sit in. Handcuffs displayed in such a room would be confining, and a bullet displayed in such a room would be fatal. With appropriate programming, such a display could literally be the Wonderland into which Alice walked.”

Advances in computing performance of the 1980s and early 1990s were ultimately required for AR to emerge as an independent field of research. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Myron Krueger, Dan Sandin, Scott Fisher, and others had experimented with many concepts of mixing human interaction with computer-generated overlays on video for interactive art experiences. Krueger, 1991, in particular, demonstrated collaborative interactive overlays of graphical annotations among participant silhouettes in his Videoplace installations around 1974.


Nowadays AR has advanced so much that the Microsoft HoloLens was shipped last year for a full AR experience.


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