Think about your dreams for a second. Some of them are
good and bad while most you just forget about them. What if you can create
worlds and do the impossible like maybe even recreating the good dreams
virtually. That is the way technology is heading right now where soon we will
not even have to leave our houses for adventure or work. Before we talk about
the future however, we must recount the past inventions that made virtual
reality come into fruition. There were three main technological advances that
supported the development of virtual reality which are the View-Master,
Sensorama, and the Sword of Damocles.
Everyone remembers the View-Master since it was like a
kid’s toy where you can look through the device to see a film rolls pictures.
It was created from a partnership between two people in 1938 where it was
intended for another age group, but it ended up taking the early age group by
storm (View-Master). This was one of the first devices created to motivate our
perceptions. Thus, the start of the VR experience was born with the View-Master
being the original design concept for the VR and AR headsets we have today. It
created the occurrence of viewing inside a device to and viewing which is the
pinnacle of what VR actually is (History Of Virtual Reality).
Moreover, the Sensorama was created to present images
to the user just like the earlier mentioned View-Master. It was created
somewhere around the mid 1950’s, but the creator did not just stop at showing
images. They preceded to create the first device that was able to stimulate
every one of your senses and it the first to use a video to do it. It was a
giant arcade looking machine that you would sit at and immerse yourself into a
recorded video with supporting effects. The creator even made the videos
displayed in the device himself (Turi). How does this relate to Virtual Reality you
may ask? The proof is in the description of the device, if not the name. Just
like the VR headsets today, it encourages one’s senses through sight and sound
using video and audio. It was the first real step toward Virtual reality
because the device took the user to an experience they would not be able to
comprehend normally. For example, who is able to become a coca cola bottle on a
day to day basis? This invention also supported many other technological
advances like the 3D and 4D theatre experience (History Of Virtual Reality).
The last stepping stone for virtual reality was when the
Sword of Damocles was created in 1968. It was very heavy and was called this
because of the way the device hung over the user’s head. This was the device
that finally made inventors switch to attaching the VR to a computer instead of
using any photos or videos. The intended use for their invention was to have
the user not be able to tell what is reality and what is not with the device (3rockAR).
We have seen examples of this device in some arcades where there is this big
headset that comes down to your face and you can rotate to look around you and
play the game. This device encouraged inventors to further use the VR headset
of time for more entertainment value as well as involving graphics and
computers which our VR headsets of today use (History Of Virtual Reality).
In conclusion, these three main inventions were
virtual realities baby steps. If you think about it, you can combine the View-Master,
Sensorama, and the Sword of Damocles to create a modern-day VR headset. View-Master
has the compact design, the Sensorama immerses the user using the senses, and the
Sword of Damocles uses a computer for visuals. To think VR and AR all started
from the simple way two cameras were positioned in order to create a depth and
allow the user to allure them into a scene.