Regardless of what you might assume, Virtual Reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are not new technologies at all. This article will provide you with the history of VR and AR, misconceptions, and implementations in the past, present, and future. You will also know when we started using VR and AR in Egypt.

So before we jump into the history of VR and AR it is good to know the meaning of each technology, their uses and differences between them, so please visit our previous article Differences between AR and VR.

Now you know the differences between them, so you are ready to know the history of VR and AR. Let’s start with the history of VR then we will go through the history of AR.

a doctor wearing vr headset and training on a surgery

History of Virtual Reality (VR)

The first start for VR was in the 1950s, in 1968 Sword of Damocles developed the first VR head-mounted display, and the term virtual reality appeared for the first time in the 1980s by Jaron Lanier. After 10 Years, VR have been used in many fields, especially training and simulation in the US military and NASA.

Here we will provide you with The VR timeline.

  • 1956: Sensorama was invented, and it is one of the earliest systems that was invented in VR.
  • 1968: Sword of Damocles created the first VR head-mounted display.
  • 1977: The Aspen Movie Map developed at MIT, enabled users to take a virtual tour of Aspen, Colorado.
  • 1984: VPL Research founded by Jaron Lanier, is considered as one of the first companies that specialized in selling and developing VR products.
  • 1991: The introduction of the first VR arcade machine.
  • 1994: VR-1 motion simulator was introduced by Sega in its SegaWorld arcades.
  • 2007: Street View introduced by Google, which provides panoramic views of locations.
  • 2010: Designing the first prototype of the Oculus Rift headset.
  • 2014: Facebook acquired Oculus for 2 billion dollars, the announcement of Project Morpheus launching by Sony, it’s a VR headset for its PS4 console.
  • 2015: Apple awarded the patent for a head-mounted display apparatus, Google launched Cardboard, which uses a head mount to turn a smartphone into a VR device, Samsung launched the Gear VR headset, and The HTC Vive headset, developed by HTC and Valve, was unveiled at Mobile World Congress.
  • 2016: Releasing the first generation Oculus Rift device, and Sony’s introduced PlayStation VR (PSVR).
  • 2017: The Xbox One X, its VR-ready games console and headset launched by Microsoft.
  • 2018: Facebook revealed camera-loaded glasses optimized for ‘social VR and released its untethered Oculus Go headset. Lenovo’s Mirage Solo, and the first headset running Google Daydream, became available.
  • 2019: More than four million PSVR headsets sold by Sony.

a man wearing ar headset

History of Augmented Reality (AR)

1968 is the year that AR technology was invented, that’s happened when the first head-mounted display system developed by Ivan Sutherl, even though the term augmented reality appeared for the first time by Boeing researcher Tim Caudell in 1990.

Here we will provide you with The AR timeline.

  • 1968: The computer scientist and Harvard professor “Ivan Sutherland”, invented the first head-mounted display named ‘The Sword of Damocles’.
  • 1974: The artist and computer researcher “Myron Kruger” built a laboratory for artificial reality only, at the University of Connecticut and it’s called ‘Videoplace’.
  • 1990: The Boeing researcher “Tom Caudell”, devise the term augmented reality.
  • 1992: The researcher in the USAF Armstrong’s “Louis Rosenburg”, created ‘Virtual Fixtures’.
  • 1994: The producer and writer “Julie Martin”, for the first time start using augmented reality in the entertainment industry with the theater production titled Dancing in Cyberspace.
  • 1998: The first live NFL game broadcasts by Sportsvision with the virtual 1st & Ten graphic systems it is also known as the yellow yard marker.
  • 1999: NASA invented a hybrid synthetic vision system for their X-38 spacecraft.
  • 2000: An open-source software library was developed by “Hirokazu Kato”, and it’s named “ARToolKit”.
  • 2003: The 1st, and Ten graphic enhanced by “Sportvision” to include the feature on the new Skycam system, it provides viewers with an aerial shot of the field with graphics overlaid on top of it.
  • 2009: the start of using AR in print media for the first time by “Esquire Magazine” that make the pages come alive.
  • 2013: The MARTA app launched by “Volkswagen” the app provides users with repair instructions within the service manual.
  • 2014: Google Glass devices Produced by Google.
  • 2016: AR technology called the HoloLens starts shipping by Microsoft.
  • 2017: Augmented reality app called IKEA Place released, and it changed the industry forever.

After displaying the history of Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR), we can predict great achievements in both fields during the next years. Despite the appearance of those technologies in Egypt was at the beginning of the 2000s, but nowadays we use those technologies in many fields and industries.

VR is being used in many different industries like the automotive industry, healthcare, retail, tourism, real estate, architecture, learning, and development, while AR is being used in healthcare, manufacturing, education, automotive, military, retail, gaming, and real estate.

If you need to know more about Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality and need to use them in your business, just contact us.

Check our VR & AR work.