VR and AR Goggles

This timeline tracks the development of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Goggles from 1968 to the Present. It was created as part of a sculpture exhibit show in Los Angeles in 2015. http://www.zenka.org/zenka-district-gallery-march-7-april-26/

If you would like to become a co-author for this project, add information, images or corrections to the timeline please let me know hello@zenka.org. ;xNLx;

1952-11-30 16:01:35


The Russian designed Shchel-3UM HMD design is fit to the ZSh-5 series helmet, and is used on the MiG-29 and Su-27 in conjunction with the R-73 (missile). The HMD/Archer combination gave the MiG-29 and Su-27 a significantly improved close combat capability and quickly became the most widely deployed HMD in the world.[9][10]

1960-12-01 00:00:00

Stereoscopic-Television Apparatus

patent in 1960 under the name, "Stereoscopic-Television Apparatus For Individual Use." The Telesphere mask was a sort of head-mounted version of the Sensorama that would allow for wrap-around views, stereo sound, and air currents that could blow at different velocities or temperatures, and could carry smell (Heilig, 1957).

1962-08-28 00:00:00

Sensorama Patented

Cinematographer Morton Heilig wanted to add senses and perception to movies in "reality machines." He wanted to simulate a first-person experience, of actually "being there." The machine had 3-D motion picture with smell, stereo sound, vibrations of the seat, and wind in the hair to create the illusion. He version of an "Experience Theater" was described in 1955 in a paper entitled "The Cinema of the Future" (Robinett 1994). In 1962 he built a prototype.

1963-01-01 00:00:00

TV Glasses by Hugo Gernsback

Inventor Hugo Gernsback with his TV glasses, 1963

1963-09-01 16:01:35

XMen Cyclops - Sold

“Cyclops” - 1963 - XMen - $750

1968-12-09 00:00:00

The Sword of Damocles

The Sword of Damocles[1] is widely considered to be the first virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) head-mounted display (HMD) system. It was created in 1968 by hall of fame computer scientist Ivan Sutherland with the help of his student Bob Sproull.

1968-12-09 16:01:35

The Sword of Damocles by Ivan Sutherland - sold

The Sword of Damocles by Ivan Sutherland “Ivan Sutherland” 1968 - Ultimate Display - $500 Sold - Private Buyer Pasadena CA

1979-12-01 00:00:00

McDonnell Douglas - VITAL HMD

As early as 1979, the military was experimenting with head-mounted displays. If an effective one could be built, it would significantly reduce the expense and physical size of the simulation system. by projecting the image directly into the pilot’s eyes, bulky screens and projection systems could be eliminated. One of the first of these, McDonnell Douglas’s VITAL helmet used an electromagnetic head tracker to sense where the pilot was looking. Dual monchromatic cathode-ray tubes were mounted next to the pilot’s ears, projecting the image onto beam splitters in front of his eyes. This allowed the pilot to view and manipulate mechanical controls in the cockpit, while seeing the computer-generated image of the outside world. Problems with bulky headgear and the unnaturalness of viewing through beam splitters, however, limited the acceptance of these early head-mounted displays. For over 20 years, America's armed forces have been manufacturing realities in order to improve the effectiveness of training their personnel. This military development of flight simulation had a significant impact on the future of arcade and later computer games.

1981-12-01 00:00:00

VCASS Visually Coupled Airborne Systems Simulator

http://voicesofvr.com/245-50-years-of-vr-with-tom-furness-the-super-cockpit-virtual-retinal-display-hit-lab-virtual-world-society/ http://www.hitl.washington.edu/people/tfurness/supercockpit.html

1985-12-01 00:00:00


Integrated Helmet And Display Sight System (IHADSS)[edit] IHADSS In 1985,[7] the U.S. Army fielded the AH-64 Apache and with it the Integrated Helmet and Display Sighting System (IHADSS), a new helmet concept in which the role of the helmet was expanded to provide a visually coupled interface between the aviator and the aircraft. The Honeywell M142 IHADSS is fitted with a 40° by 30° field of view, video-with-symbology monocular display. IR emitters allow a slewable thermographic camera sensor, mounted on the nose of the aircraft, to be slaved to the aviator's head movements. The display also enables Nap-of-the-earth night navigation. IHADSS is also used on the Italian Agusta A129 Mangusta.[8]

1985-12-01 00:00:00


Fisher's work as founding Director of the Virtual Environment Workstation Project (VIEW) at Date Date Approximate: NASA led to work that helped create the head-mounted viewer and glove that has been associated with virtual reality since the mid-1980s.

1986-12-01 00:00:00


From 1985 to 1990, Mr. Fisher was Founder and Director of the Virtual Environment Workstation Project (VIEW) at NASA's Ames Research Center in which the objective was to develop a multisensory virtual environment workstation for use in Space Station teleoperation, telepresence and automation activities. The VIEW Project pioneered the development of many key VR technologies including head-coupled displays, datagloves, and 3-D audio technology. Source: http://www.zakros.com/ucb/histS99/Notes/Class6/Class6.html

1989-03-01 00:00:00

LEEP Cyberface

"in 1988, NASA and a sensory research group at M.I.T. tasked Pop-Optix Labs with designing very wide-angle LEEP format lenses for video cameras. This work is what first made wide angle telepresence possible. With the release of the original LEEP Cyberface In March of 1989, Eric Howlett became the first to offer a commercial head-mounted display. The technology is essentially identical to that in the NASA "VIEWS" (Virtual Interface Environment Work Station). Like the NASA HMD, the Cyberface is monochromatic, but provides very wide angle stereo. This is a reasonable trade-off considering the technology that was available at the time the Cyberface was first created." from http://www.leepvr.com/cyberface1.php

1990-12-01 00:00:00


Since the mid-1980’s, Ames’ Aerospace Human Factors Research Division has been developing systems that permit human/computer interaction. The Virtual Interface Environment Workstation (VIEW) is a head-mounted stereoscopic display system in which the display may be an artificial computer-generated environment or a real environment relayed from remote video cameras. Operator can "step into" this environment and interact with it. The DataGlove has a series of fiber optic cables and sensors that detect any movement of the wearer's fingers and transmit the information to a host computer; a computer generated image of the hand will move exactly as the operator is moving his gloved hand. With appropriate software, the operator can use the glove to interact with the computer scene by grasping an object. The DataSuit is a sensor equipped full body garment that greatly increases the sphere of performance for virtual reality simulations by reporting to the computer the motions, bends, gestures and spatial orientation of the wearer. VPL created its own version, the eye display in NASA's helmet system, the EyePhone, a head-mounted stereo display. VPL has developed a line of software for virtual reality applications. The company offers a complete package, the RB2 Virtual Environment." from https://www.nasa.gov/ames/spinoff/new_continent_of_ideas/#.V8GpE5MrKGQ

1991-01-01 00:00:00

Virtual Research Flight Helmet

MHO, the Virtual Research Flight Helmet was, and still is, the ultimate head mounted display, except of course, it needed modern high resolution LCD panels. Otherwise, it had incredible field of view, great ergonomics, and unbeatable LEEP optics. I came across a more complete brochure including the retail price list (starts at $6,000.)

1991-10-01 00:00:00

Virtuality (Virtuality Group)

Virtuality is a line of virtual reality gaming machines produced by Virtuality Group, and found in video arcades in the early 1990s.[1] The machines deliver real time (less than 50ms lag) gaming via a stereoscopic visor, joysticks, and networked units for multi-player gaming. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtuality_%28gaming%29

1991-12-01 00:00:00


By 1991, the FlightHelmet was the third HMD to feature Large Expanse Extra Perspective (LEEP) optics from Eric Howlett’s LEEP-VR. The Flight Helmet combined LEEP’s 100° field of view with an adjustable, comfortable and rugged packaging design. The use of a rear exiting cable as a counterweight made this HMD perfectly balanced.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DatwlDYW-Us and http://vrtifacts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/FlightHelmet.pdf cited from http://vrtifacts.com/tag/cyberface/

1993-03-01 00:00:00

Tier-1 by VFrontier

Not an exact date. Came from a letter and brochure from March 1993 http://www.vrtifacts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/VRontier-Worlds-Tier-1-Brochure.pdf

1993-07-01 03:05:17

Sega VR

The Sega VR was a head-tracking virtual reality headset under development by Sega. Versions were planned for arcades and consoles (Sega Genesis and then Saturn), but only the arcade version was released, while the home console versions were cancelled.

1993-07-01 16:01:35

Sega VR

“Mick LaRon” – 1991 - Sega VR - $600 - available

1994-11-15 00:00:00

Atari Jaguar

he Atari Jaguar is a home video game console that was released by Atari Corporation in 1993. It was the last to be marketed under the Atari brand until the release of the Atari Flashback in 2004. It was designed to surpass the Mega Drive/Genesis, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and the Panasonic 3DO in processing power. Although launched one year earlier, it was eventually in competition with the Sega Saturn, the PlayStation, and other consoles that made up the fifth generation of video game consoles. The console was first released in New York City and San Francisco in 1993, and the rest of the US in early 1994.[1] Although it was marketed as the first 64-bit gaming system, the Jaguar proved to be a commercial failure and prompted Atari to leave the home video game console market. Despite its commercial failure, the Jaguar has a dedicated fan base that produces homebrew games for it.[5] It was the last console from an American company until the 2001 introduction of Microsoft's Xbox.

1994-12-01 00:00:00

VR4 by Virtual Research

See specs here: http://www.virtualresearch.com/Acrobat_files/VR_VR4man.pdf

1995-07-21 03:05:17

Virtual Boy (Nintendo)

The Virtual Boy (Originally known as VR-32) is a 32-bit table-top 3D video game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was marketed as the first "portable" video game console capable of displaying "true 3D graphics" out of the box. It was released on July 21, 1995 in Japan and August 14, 1995 in North America at a price of around US$180. It proved to be a commercial failure and was not released in other regions. Its lukewarm reception was unaffected by continued price drops. Nintendo discontinued it the following year on March 2, 1996. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Boy

1995-07-21 03:05:17

Cybermaxx by Victormaxx

Price: $889 - The Cybermaxx had solid head tracking, colorful stereoscopic 3D, and a pricetag below $1000. Read more: http://www.cheatsheet.com/technology/a-trip-down-virtual-reality-road-6-systems-of-the-past.html/?a=viewall#ixzz3X6nk50OG

1995-10-12 00:00:00

iGlasses by Virtual I/O

Head mounted displays are used for enhanced emersion in virtual reality applications. The user can turn his head to view a 3D environment from different angles while a workstation (or fast PC) renders the environment as it should be seen by the new head orientation. The iglasses! display two (640x480) color video images, one in front each eye and have a three degree of freedom orientation tracker. They can display either stereo images or the same image for each eye. Also, there are headphones attached for stereo audio.

1995-12-01 00:00:00

VFX1 Forte

The Forte VFX1 was a consumer-level virtual reality headset marketed during the mid-1990s. It comprised a helmet, a handheld controller, and an ISA interface board, and offered head-tracking, stereoscopic 3D, and stereo audio.[1] Souce: Wikipedia

1995-12-01 00:00:00

FOHMD (Fiber Optics) HMD for Tornado

FOHMD (Fiber Optics) HMD for Tornado The Fiber-Optic Helmet Mounted Display (FOHMD) is a flight simulator visual display system. It is designed to offer pilots a 360° field-of-view and stereoscopic scenes of extraordinary resolution and brightness, exactly as human eyes would see a live image, to provide a superior visual display encountered in the simulation of tactical aircraft missions. The FOHMD optimizes the capabilities of current image generation systems through the use of proven optical components and advanced head and eye tracking techniques. This system makes possible realistic visual simulation of the nap-of-the-earth flight, mid-air fuelling, air-to-air and air-to-ground combat and multiple participant scenarios. The development of this project involved the helmet shell as a design required to provide a stable platform on which to mount the optical displays and the head and eye tracking devices, to minimize the mass and inertia, and to incorporate a custom molded liner, as comfortable as a regular flight helmet.

1997-12-01 00:00:00

HMD Glasstron by Sony

Another pioneer in this field was Sony, which released the Glasstron in 1997. It had as an optional accessory a positional sensor which permitted the user to view the surroundings, with the perspective moving as the head moved, providing a deep sense of immersion. One novel application of this technology was in the game MechWarrior 2, which permitted users of the Sony Glasstron or Virtual I/O's iGlasses to adopt a new visual perspective from inside the cockpit of the craft, using their own eyes as visual and seeing the battlefield through their craft's own cockpit. by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-mounted_display

1999-01-01 00:00:00

Eye Tap

Dr. Steve Mann, creator of the EyeTap Digital Eye Glass, predicts that the rise of augmented reality devices will slowly erode opposition from government and corporate entities in an opinion piece in Time. Mann — who claims he was assaulted in a McDonald's earlier this year for wearing his EyeTap headset — believes that his own device and Google's Project Glass will create a movement of "sousveillance," or surveillance by individuals. For more on the EyeTap device, which Mann claims he invented as early as 1978, and the potential wide-reaching effects of these products, check out the full article at the source link below. http://techland.time.com/2012/11/02/eye-am-a-camera-surveillance-and-sousveillance-in-the-glassage/ Text from http://www.theverge.com/2012/11/5/3603162/steve-mann-eyetap-surveillance-sousveillance

1999-01-01 00:00:00

Tom Auer Doctoral Project

Augmented Reality, vintage 1999 with Tom Auer and his doctoral project in cooperation with Axel Pinz in Graz and Dieter Schmalstieg / Mick Gervautz in Vienna

2001-04-20 00:00:00

Full Immersion HMD VIM 6-panel by Kaiser Electro-Optics Inc.

Note: This is the date of the patent application which was granted in 2003. Definitely out by 2005. A head mounted virtual environment display with high visual resolution and a full field of view is disclosed. The display uses an optical system in which the video displays and corresponding lenses are positioned tangent to hemispheres with centers located at the centers of rotation of a user's eyes.

2005-12-01 00:00:00


Mixed VR/AR "Cybermind was a virtual reality entertainment company based in San Francisco that operated a VR arcade in Embaracdero Center San Francisco and one other location which I forget. They used branded versions of the British VR pioneer Virtuality’s HMD and other top end gear. They also famously held a huge “VR rave” in July 1994 that I attended along with early transhumanists, virtual reality researchers, and various other weirdos and partiers. Attendees included former H+ editor R.U. Sirius and Timothy Leary and the event featured networked VR games and a 150 foot virtual reality projection screen displaying impressive stereoscopic underwater footage and some topless girl dancing. The Cybermind company also held the rather silly “first virtual reality wedding” that attracted some press attention at the time. Cybermind was supposedly funded by two trust fund kids and later went out of business. Shocking I know" quoted by author Peter Rothman at Hplus Magazine

2009-01-06 16:01:35

Oculus Rift Cresent Bay Prototype - Ace - sold

“Ace Oogles” - 2014 - Oculus Rift Crystal Cove - $500

2009-01-06 16:01:35

Oculus Rift Cresent Bay Prototype - sold

“Elvira Liscious” - 2014 - Oculus Rift Crystal Cove - $500 Sold Private buyer in San Francisco, CA

2009-06-24 16:01:35

NASA - sold

“Kit Scope” - 2007 - NASA VR - $1000

2009-06-24 16:01:35

NASA VR - sold

“Kit Johnson” - NASA VR - $750 Sold (Buyer LADADSpace)

2009-07-15 03:05:17

Predesessor to Canon MREAL System for Mixed Reality

Their bulky, spatially-aware AR headset--more like a fascia, really, that requires both hands--can overlay complicated 3D models on the user's field of vision. The obvious application is for interior and environments design walkthroughs, but the demo Canon runs in this video has the wearer observing a primitive automotive suspension as it navigates a series of bumps. Their PR guy discusses how it will enable mechanical, electrical and software designers and engineers to share information in a way that will smoothen the design process, but exactly how this would happen is not made overt. AR's design-process benefits will probably take a little more dot-connecting to come together, but we'll keep our eyes peeled for developments. http://www.core77.com/posts/14058/canon-pushes-augmented-reality-tech-to-smoothen-the-product-design-process-14058

2009-10-06 16:01:44

i-glasses 920HR Video Glasses - sold

“Lucas Amore” –“2014” - i-glasses 920HR - $475

2010-01-06 00:00:00

Vuzix Wrap AR 920

$800 he stereo camera pair delivers a single 1504 x 480 side-by-side image that can be viewed in 3D stereoscopic video, while the video eyewear provides an unprecedented 67-inch display as seen from 10 feet. The Wrap 920AR also includes a 6 Degree-of-Freedom Tracker, which allows for absolute accuracy of roll pitch and yaw and also X, Y and Z positioning in 3D space. Selected as a 2010 CES Innovations Award winner and a semifinalist for the "Last Gadget Standing" competition, the Wrap 920AR will be the highlight of Vuzix' display at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show.

2010-08-07 00:00:00

PR1 by Palmer Tech

Palmer Luckey's early VR prototypes - This first unit wasn't even in 3D. It was a far cry from Luckey's current stereoscopic headgear, but in a way, it inspired the Rift's current design. While planning a follow-up project, Luckey had a breakthrough: the panel he used on the PR1 had an active area that was 120.96mm wide -- almost double the average human interpupillary distance (the distance between the center of the left and right pupils). A plan quickly formed: instead of using two displays to build a 3D head mount, Luckey figured he could do it with one. The resulting device, the PR2, wasn't very good according to Luckey, but it served as a proof of concept.

2010-09-24 00:00:00

xSight HMD by Senetics

The zSight™ is a professional HMD with high-resolution OLED displays, comfortable and lightweight packaging, low power consumption and integrated tracker, stereo audio and microphone. It has automatic configuration that makes it a truly ‘plug-and-play’ professional display product." cited from

2011-08-30 16:01:35

Sony Personal 3D Viewer HMZ-T1 - sold

“Tipene Maori” - 2014 - Sony Personal 3D Viewer HMZ-T1 - $500 Sold.

2011-09-07 16:01:35

Sony Personal 3D Viewer HMZ-T1 - kat - sold

“Kat Rave” – “Sony Personal 3D Viewer HMZ-T1” - $500 - Sold (Buyer Delta Airlines)

2012-01-08 00:00:00

Sensics SmartGoggles by Natalia Immersive

SmartGoggles typically include the following components: A powerful application processor, typically running Android or Windows Embedded, allowing you to download, run and store applications locally – on the goggles – and take them with you. A unique system for first-person hand tracking, providing natural interaction with the applications. By using hand tracking data – provided through the libSensics™ software library, application developers can use the hands to interact with 3D content, to play a 360 degree 3D game and to provide on-board user interface. A virtual reality engine that provides almost everything you need to build goggles: display drivers, predictive head tracking, video processing, communications and more.

2012-01-17 16:01:35

Sensics Smart VR

“Rip Golder” - 2012 - Sensics Smart VR - $500 - available

2012-02-21 03:05:17

MReal Mixed Reality (Cannon)

Canon MREAL Mixed Reality headset hitting US March 1st 2012 for $125,000 with a $25,000 year maintenance fee!

2012-04-04 00:00:00

Google Glass

Google creates a Project Glass account on Google+ and shares its first public post that begins with this mission statement: We think technology should work for you — to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t. - See more at: http://glassalmanac.com/history-google-glass/#sthash.AZGTuQOH.dpuf

2012-04-04 16:01:44

Google Glass - Sergi - sold

“Sergi Brin” - 2013 - Google Glass - $750 Sold (Buyer: Delta Airlines)

2012-06-01 00:00:00

Oculus Rift Prototype

Palmer Luckey developed the idea of creating a new head-mounted display that was both more effective than what is currently on the market, and inexpensive for gamers. To develop the new product, Luckey founded Oculus VR with Scaleform co-founders Brendan Iribe and Michael Antonov,[3] engineer Jack McCauley,[4] Nate Mitchell and Andrew Scott Reisse.[5]

2013-01-08 00:00:00

Vuzix M100

he Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses is an Android-based wearable computer, enhanced with a wearable monocular display and computer, recording features and wireless connectivity capabilities designed for commercial, professional, and prosumer users. Its pre-installed apps can be used to record and playback still pictures and video, track timed events, manage your calendar, link to your phone and more. The M100 is compatible with thousands of existing Android apps and easy access to developer resources enables the creation of custom apps to suit virtually any need.

VR and AR Goggles

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