The Complete History of VR – Part 2: The Birth of Television

The Complete History of VR - Part 2: The Birth of Television

Throughout history, attempts have been made to capture the essence of an experience and distil it in some form to make it available for us to enjoy and analyze. Through the direct experience of theatre, music. and paintings, people have been able to perceive both the real and imaginary expressions of other worlds, other times. new ideas, and new perspectives…

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The Complete History of VR – Part 3: The Sword of Damocles

The Complete History of VR – Part 3: The Sword of Damocles

As Morton Heilig struggled to convince a reluctant entertainment business to back his ideas, the first minicomputer based on transistors rather than tubes became available in 1960. The Digital Equipment Corporation’s (DEC) PDP-1 was the harbinger of the technology that would, more than 25 years later, succeed at popularizing virtual experiences where Sensorama failed. The PDP-1 represented a revolution in…

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The Complete History of VR – Part 4: Military Purposes

The Complete History of VR – Part 4: Military Purposes

During World War II, the military discovered the true value of training pilots in flight simulators. In fact, studies showed a pilots chances of coming back from a mission jumped 95% if he had made it through the first 5 missions. Thus, anything that increased their chances of survival in those first few missions was critical to saving more pilots…

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The Complete History of VR – Part 5: Exploring The Uses of VR

Virtual Reality Super Cockpit 1986

With a background in creating visual displays for the military since 1966 and extensive research in the field of visual perception, Thomas Furness III had the experience the Air Force needed. After years of fighting for funding, Furness finally got the go-ahead to prototype a state-of-the-art control system at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. In 1982, he demonstrated a…

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The Complete History of VR – Part 8: All Hands-On

The Complete History of VR – Part 8: All Hands-On

While at ARC, Fisher had met Thomas G. Zimmerman, the developer of a new kind of glove that could be used to measure the degree of bend or flex in each finger joint. Zimmerman had originally developed the glove with the intent of using it as an instrument to create music. By hooking it up to a computer that controlled…

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The Complete History of VR – Part 10: Ready Player 2

At the height of the video-game craze in 1983, Lanier created a popular game called Moondust for Atari. The success of the game and the royalties it generated gave lanier the freedom to pursue the silicon Vally ethos of being an entrepreneur. A year later, VPL Research was officially founded and Scott Fisher from NASA came rocking. Sadly conservative companies…

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