Virtual Reality may seem like a modern phenomenon, however, the origins of VR can date back to as early as the 19th century, nearly 180 years ago. The Stereoscope in 1838 was technically the first device to essentially pioneer 3D by having the viewer look through a lens with two of the same image and then letting the brain blend them together to perceive a solid image. This was later followed by the Sensorama in the 1950s, which introduced the concept of immersive, multi-sensory technology (like artificial scents and sounds) that would later give way to the main components of Altered Reality (AR) decades later.
1985 brought us NASA Ames, which developed the Virtual Visual Environment Display (VIVED), a head-mounted display unit that gave the user a 360 degree environment to explore and interact with. This development was the closest thing to today’s VR technology, such as the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift. Recent VR devices, like the HTC Vive, use advanced technology to turn something like a room into a 3D space with the help of over 70 sensors. Users have the ability to fully immerse themselves in virtual environments like never before. The HTC Vive has already be awarded 22 awards at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2016, including Best in Show.
Now with modern VR technology is now accessible to nearly anyone and can be used for everything from education, design, and much, much more. From its humble beginnings, the future possibilities for VR/AR are endless, and from the vast advancements we’ve seen alone in the last few years, one can only image what’s in store years ahead.
Below is the full infographic by Versus: