A short history of VR

In this 21st century, virtual reality, more commonly known as VR, made headlines in the field of gaming. Especially when Facebook bought virtual reality company Oculus in early 2014. Indeed, Oculus has won the hearts of many people and companies today are busy exploring this field. However in the past, VR was badly perceived in the fun-video sector. In the 90’s, many attempts were made, unfortunately without much success.

The history of virtual reality begins in 1950. If you thought that VR was exploited until the early 90’s, it was not counting on the pioneers, the forerunners who had made a real virtual reality visual revolution. The VR story begins in the company of Morton Heilig. The name may mean nothing to you, yet this man was the creator of the first immersive cinema in 1962.


This magic box was actually a personal cinema where 5 short films were presented. But the uniqueness of Sensorama is to have been the first film to have proposed an immersion in the film by exploiting our different senses. Thanks to fans and vibrating seats, we had the ability to feel all the scenes of the film as if we were there.

The Sword of Damocles

1968 was marked by the creation of the first virtual reality helmet: The Sword of Damocles. At this time, the headset combines the view of reality and computer graphics. Ivan Sutherland’s invention influenced many other creators.


In the early 80’s, the Virtual Reality term became popular. It was indeed used in abundance after the DataGlove invention of Jaron Lanier. His creation is a glove that was able to capture the movements of your hands in a virtual universe. A total immersion exploited by many areas such as NASA.

These precursors and inventors have influenced the field that interests us today, that of the video game. The 90’s were very eventful in terms of virtual reality but not in a good way. Indeed, these were years of testing and experimentation. So much so that inventions that did come out have not received the expected success. Many devices were created in those years: iGlasses created by Virtual I-O, Cybermaxx invented by Victormaxx and Virtual Boy made by Nintendo.

The virtual reality helmet was in the innovative race, unfortunately without much success. The players of the time were perhaps not ready yet to take the step of virtuality. However, we were treated to a new virtuality in the 2000s with the arrival of the Nintendo Wii. With the WiiMote, we could control our body in the video game. Nintendo has launched here a new “fashion”, that of immersion. So it did not take long for competitors like Microsoft or Sony to also innovate in an immersive sensor. Kinect has been created for the Xbox and the Playstation Move for the Playstation.

Since 2014, the field of virtual reality has progressed well. The discovery of the Oculus Rift last year has caught everyone’s attention. Described as THE video game revolution of the century, the Oculus will certainly be the new essential support viewing for gamers.

We thank VB Profiles which offers us a global VR market view here : VRLandscape

It’s always a pleasure to read you. Don’t hesitate to share your reactions !