History of Virtual Environments

1965: Ivan Sutherland proposes the "Ultimate Display" that is a window into a realistic virtual world.

1968: Ivan Sutherland creates the first head-mounted display system (the "Sword of Damocles"). It consists of two CRTs alongside the users ears, a mass of suspended hardware to measure the user's head orientation, and two silvered mirrors to reflect the CRT images. The user was able to view a wireframe cube floating in space and could see different sides of the cube as they moved their head around.

1971: Frederick Brooks at the U. North Carolina develops a prototype force-feedback system (GROPE-II)

1982: Thomas Furness III develops the VCASS (Visually Coupled Airborne Systems Simulator) that is a head mounted display.

1988: VPL Research introduces the Eyephone, a commercial head mounted display.

1989: Fake Space Labs founded by Mark Bolas and markets the Boom. This is a small box containing two CRT's that can be viewed through two eyeholes. It is suspended from a mechanical arm that measures the position and orientation.

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Last modified on February 18, 1999, G. Scott Owen, owen@siggraph.org