History of Virtual Reality – where did it all begin?

The History of Virtual Reality – otherwise known as VR. A term that applies to simulations made by technology in an environment that mimics the real world. Also as imaginary worlds. Most VR programs try to create a visual experience for its audience – a form of immersive entertainment. Today, it is being used in amusement parks and other entertainment environments. For practical reasons, the virtual reality concept has been used not only for gaming purposes but also for  medical and military purposes. Though we continuously make use of virtual reality today, this has been around for  many years already.

virtual reality

Way before the virtual reality movies that zap people into the monitors and become part of the gaming world, it was a concept that originated from the imagination of  previous decades. When we consider the history of virtual reality we must take into account that all computer graphics could be considered to simulate the real world. And thus the first ever computer designed images could be considered to be part of the history of Virtual Reality.

Virtual Reality had become significantly popular during the 1990s. It became one of the best topics for movies and even for virtual reality games. During the 1950s, an attempt by a cinematographer named Morton Heilig to stimulate the different senses became the idea of what we know today as Virtual Reality. This is the same person who made use of the machine called Sensorama. Sensorama included moving chairs and odor meters while providing a visual treat to the audience.

A number of people think that the Virtual Reality concept is something new. In fact, just a few years after the conservative idea of the 1950s, the Virtual Reality concept already emerged thanks to the vision of Douglas Englbart. The first step towards making VR what it is today was Englbart’s idea to connect the computers in a screen. Using the screen to visualize the information, this was the real first taste of VR. Before the 1950s, computers were bulky machines that had been used by the military. They used to be powerful machines that could take out a town’s power supply. From the Mark 1 to the 1960s computer technology, computers have come a long way.

In 1961 a company decided to stick with a project called Headsight. Philco Corporation made use of Headsight as their project to produce visual stimulation together with a tracking system. This also had been used for military purposes. For instance, pilots can now train under the Headsight in order to simulate flying in complete darkness. In 1965, Ivan Sutherland tried to mimic the physical world with the use of his invention. He called it Ultimate Display. The Virtual Reality in this invention would look like the world the person lived in. The thing with Sutherland’s version is that it focuses on 3D objects. But it also provides tactile stimuli considered by some to be the original concept when considering the history of Virtual Reality.

During the 1980s and 90s, Virtual Reality became a concept that was been believed to be the future. With the improving graphics in video games during that time, it has catered to consoles like PlayStation. Today, Sony PS4 and Xbox One makes use of cutting edge graphics to mimic reality. These are concepts started by Virtual Reality.