VR 360 History

Historical Tidbits of Virtual Reality

(source: VR and 360 Video Production by Google AR & VR)

  • Sala de Prospettive, 1516: one of the earliest human attempts to create “virtual realities”

  • Stereoscope: one of the first major technological developments related to VR, invented by Charles Wheatstonein 1838. This device allowed us to view images in simulated “3D” by depicting left-eye and right-eye views of the same scene using two separate images.
  • Pygmalion’s Spectacles, by Stanley Weinbaum, 1935: the first book to imagine a model for a modern day VR
  • Sensorama1962 : called an “experience theater” containing the first self-contained immersive film and experience for the audience
  • In 1968, computer scientist Ivan Sutherland invented the first known head-mounted display, or HMD: the Sword of Damocles.
  • Dr. Tom Furness led the development of the first VR cockpit simulator for the US Air Force, which was completed in 1971.
  • Huge leaps in computer science led to the birth of the video game industry and the popularization of visual effects (VFX) in Hollywood in the late 1970s and 1980s with Tron becoming the first “VR” blockbuster in 1982.
  • In 1984, William Gibson published Neuromancer, a cyberpunk VR novel that introduced the concept of the matrix.
  • In 1985, Jaron Lanier left Atari to work on what would become VPL Research. In 1987, Lanier officially coined the term “Virtual Reality,”
  • In 1992, The Lawnmower Man was released. Marketed on its then state-of-the-art computer
    graphics, the film further drove public desire for VR.
  • In the 1990s, cellular technology took off, leading to smartphones. like the iPhone launching in 2007 and paving the way for advancements in VR hardware.
  • In 2012, Palmer Luckey launched a KickStarter campaign for an HMD called the Oculus Rift, which was eventually acquired by Facebook.
  • In 2014, Google released the Google Cardboard, which became the most widely-distributed VR headsets.