VR history • HWzone
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VR history

From ancient Greece, through NASA to the living room of all of us in the present or in the near future - this is the story of technology that allows you to experience new worlds at first glance

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In recent years we have been experiencing a significant development in virtual reality technology, the same technology that allows our brain to think that we are in an imaginary place, creating an immersive experience that does not equal any other entertainment experience. But did you know that technology has been in existence for decades, and that the idea of? Up to thousands of years back? Well, it's time to discover the story behind one of the coolest things humanity has invented.

So believe it or not, but our story begins in ancient Greece, a few centuries BC. So we got the first written documentation for a physiological phenomenon called lucid dreams - an ordinary Lila dream, where one can control, walk at will, talk to people and even fly. You may even have experienced such a thing yourself, it is a real and scientifically proven phenomenon. In any case, references to lucid dreams continued to appear on the pages of history in all kinds of cultures - the pursuit of the escape from reality into a new and imagined place where we have full control of humanity from the moment it could communicate words and tell imaginary stories about other places.

The next stage in history has taken us centuries to the 19 century, where the advancement of science and the exploration of the sense of sight led to the discovery that it is possible to work on our eyes and see a three-dimensional image when viewing the same image for each eye only at a slightly different angle. This discovery led to the development of the stereoscope, which was basically just a type of binoculars into which you insert an image for each eye that allows you to create the same illusion of viewing a 3D image.

But to get to the point in history where someone has described the experience of virtual reality in terms that we think of today's rise, we need to move the path of time to 1935. Like many modern innovations, quite a few of them began as some futuristic gadget in the story Fiction, and virtual reality glasses are no different from them. That same year, an American writer named Stanley Weinbaum published a story In short fiction called Pygmalion's Spectacles. In the story, the main character, a man named Dan Burke, meets a professor who invented a couple Specials that allow those who make them to participate in a film in which you can see, hear, taste and touch, talk to characters, and feel like the hero of the plot.

Then in 1962, Morton Heilig creates American, took this idea and decided to make it a reality. His goal was to create a viewing experience that allows the user to feel right inside the film, thus inventing the sensorama. It was an incredibly bulky instrument the size of an arcade machine that allowed a user to feel like riding a motorcycle on the streets of Brooklyn, including a three-dimensional display, wind effects, vibrations and street odors. Unfortunately for Heilig, the invention was doomed to failure, because, although it was ahead of its time, not only was it expensive, no one really knew how to market it.

Around the same year, Philco opened a helmet with a screen that tracks the head movements using magnets. The helmet was actually developed for helicopter pilots to help them land at night, but it was the initial technology behind Head Tracking, an integral feature of the way VR means today.

A few years later, in 1968, a computer science scientist named Ivan Sutherland, along with his student Bob Sproull, opened what was recorded in history as the first virtual reality helmet, which received the dramatic name "the sword of Democles." This was obviously a very, very initial product. The UI and display were pretty basic and managed to show only line frames that represented rooms, and the helmet was so heavy it had to get support from the ceiling.

During the 1970s, various developments continued to emerge in the field, but the years in which the imagined reality broke out in the public consciousness were the 1980s and 1990s. Thanks to the technological leap of the period, a number of significant developments brought the virtual reality to a leapfrog.

In 1985 for example, NASA has opened a helmet , Which presented simplistic graphics, but supported the tracking of head movements and came with a glove that enabled tracking of position and hand movements, and following its success opened a laboratory Which continued to develop the field, mainly for the training of its astronauts.

Two years later, VPL company was the first company to sell products To the general public, with products like the EyePhone, and incidentally the company that developed the technology behind the Power Glove, an accessory for the Nintendo console that can be controlled by hand movement. The term "virtual reality", coined by company founders Jaron Lanier , And have stayed with us ever since.

The field of gaming was of course the one that boosted the popularity of the field. Companies like British Virtuality were the first to develop crazy arcade machines Who supported multiplayer, such as a boxing game that allowed you to fight against a friend. Vesga and Nintendo, the hottest companies in the gaming market at the time, also tried to enter the field.

Sega tried her luck with the Sega VR, glasses Designed for arcade games and its Mega Drive console. In the end, she shelved the project because they could not cope with one small problem - her glasses made users sick.

Nintendo did not really learn from this case and entered the market with the Virtual Boy console. Although it can not be said that this was not an ambitious attempt, the console became a complete failure. Not only was it costly, cumbersome, and showed only two colors, it caused headaches and neck after a few minutes of play.

Although such popular companies, combined with From the time they were familiar with the realm of virtual reality to the general public, the VR field was quite dissipated until the end of the 1990s. Perhaps the failure of big companies such as Sega and Nintendo, or perhaps the expensive production, made him melt a bit. And although it did not completely disappear, the next time the subject came to public consciousness was 2012.

In 2010, a guy named Palmer Lucky wanted to play computer games through virtual reality glasses, but to his surprise he did not find any products on the market. In an ambitious step, he decided he was going to create virtual reality glasses himself. Palmer began work on developing the archetype in the garage at his parents' home, and two years later opened a page in Kickstarter to raise funds for the development and mass production of the glasses called ". It probably will not surprise you that the project succeeded above expectations and raised an amount ten times higher than the company requested.

From that point on, the VR field began to roll again and gain momentum. Following the crazy resonance created by the Okulos, huge companies such as HTC and Sony also decided to enter the field, and of course Which bought Oculos.

From year to year, these companies and innovative start-up companies are introducing new improvements to the field: a sharper display resolution, a technology that allows you to track the movement of your hands without the need to return the signs, a more accurate head tracking system, accessories that track all the movement of the body and more. Of quite a few Triple A games in virtual reality glasses, finally there is also content that justifies the acquisition of - And although VR goggles are still an inexpensive accessory, they are undoubtedly far more accessible today.

And you can not help mentioning my cardboard , Which was the one that made the imaginary reality accessible to every person he had , At a price of a few dollars for a simple piece of cardboard with a pair of lenses that makes the smartphone screen along with the gyroscope built into any device today, to a VR machine that can recognize the magic of technology for everyone.

So is the realm of virtual reality here to stay? Or will it disappear again within a few years until the next time? It is only left to discover.

Sveta S. She is developing sites and a gamer in her soul, you are invited to follow her on her YouTube channel GameGems


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