Experience theatre

Cinematographer Morton Heilig wrote of a so-called “experience theatre” that will engage all the senses and draw the viewer into the onscreen activity. In 1962, he built a prototype of his vision called the Sensorama and produced five short films for it.

The first HMD

Computer scientist Ivan Sutherland developed the first virtual reality.game and ahead - mounted display (HMD) called the Ultimate Display to play it with. The graphics were very basic and the user had to have his or her head securely fastened into the HMD to use it.

Gear And Goggles

Computer scientist Jaron Lanier coins the term ‘virtual reality’ for the first time. Lanier would also go on.to co-found VPL Research, a.company that would create virtual reality paraphernalia, including the Nintendo Power Glove and the EyePhone HMD.

VR prediction

A reminder that sometimes tech journalist can get it wrong. Computer Gaming World magazine predicts “ affordable VR by1994 ” in its hundredth issue collector’s edition.


Sega showed off its wrap-around VR glasses at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show. The headset had an LCD display, inertial sensors to detect head movement and stereo headphones for a more immersive experience.

The Matrix

The movie The Matrix disturbed us with its
dystopian vision in which humanity is trapped in a computer-generated world.

Street View

While it’s taken for granted now, Google’s project to produce a panoramic map of the world’s roads was ground-breaking at the time. The introduction of a stereoscopic 3D mode in 2010 added a virtual reality element.

Oculus Rising

Four years after Palmer Luckey created the first prototype for the Oculus Rift in his parent’s garage, Oculus raise $2.4 million through Kickstarter to finance its first developer kit.

VR explosion

18 March: Sony announce Project Morpheus.

25 March: Facebook buys Oculus for $2 billion.

25 June: Google give away Cardboard VR headsets at Google I/O conference.

September: Samsung announce the Gear VR Samsung is the latest manufacturer to jump onboard the VR bandwagon.

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