Virtual reality (VR) consists in simulating physical presence in computer-generated environments, be they inspired of real places (past or existing) or completely imaginary.

Origin of the term :
"They were talking about what to call what Scott was doing in the VIEW lab when Jaron coined the term “virtual reality”. Jaron told me that he thought it was an accurate description of what Scott was doing. Scott and others at, e.g. the University of North Carolina, had already been calling it virtual environments (VE)"

"For the next several years there was a battle between the “virtual reality” and the “virtual environment” camps over appropriate nomenclature, with the academics tending towards VE and the hacker/commercial/press sectors tending towards VR."

"VR became generally accepted in the 92-93 time frame"

History


The stereoscope

1838 : The stereoscope (Charles Wheatstone)
1849 : The lenticular stereoscope (David Brewster)
1939 : The View-Master (William Gruber)

The roots

1961 : Headsight (Philco Corporation)
first head-mounted display single CRT element magnetic tracking system

first VR installation, mechanical1962 : The Sensorama (Morton Heilig)
1965 : The Ultimate Display ([Sutherland])
1968 : The Sword of Damocles A Head-Mounted Three Dimensional Display (Ivan Sutherland / Bob Sproull)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sword_of_Damocles_(virtual_reality)
http://amturing.acm.org/photo/sutherland_3467412.cfm
File:Http://design.osu.edu/carlson/history/images/small/hmd.jpg
http://www.computerhistory.org/revolution/input-output/14/356/1830
Binocular Omni Orientation Monitor
1970 : (Donald Vickers)
stereoscopic support
1972 : Sorcerer's Apprentice: Head-Mounted Display and Wand (Donald Vickers)
1977 : Sayre Glove (Dan Sandin / Richard Sayre / Thomas Defanti)
The first dataglove.

In the labs

1979 : LEEP optics
1983 : A 3-D display head-set for personalized computing - Callahan, Mark A (MIT)
1985 : VIVED
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAuytnYU6JQ
1986 : Super Cockpit
1989 : Exploring Virtual Worlds with Head-Mounted Displays

Commercialization

1982 : VPL DataGlove (Thomas Zimmerman) first commercially available glove ($9000)
1989 : Cyberface
1989 : VPL EyePhone
1990 : VPL Research filed for bankruptcy

The rise



Issue 40 of Ace magazine - January 1991
Issue 40 of Ace magazine - January 1991

1991 : Virtual Reality (Howard Rheingold)
1991 : Virtuality 1000CS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP8wSw4bBuA
1991 : Flight Helmet (Virtual Research) first reliable HMD under $10,000



1994 : Virtuality 2000SU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Imyn6QSq9s
1994 : Forte VFX1
Victormaxx CyberMaxx
1995 : i-glasses (Virtual IO) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbNUIwi5F6g
1997 : Sony Glasstron

The fall

1994 : Sega VR
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwY-EaUQ_Yc
1995 : Jaguar VR
1997 : End of Virtuality http://killscreendaily.com/articles/failure-launch/
1998 : LEEP Systems was shut down
1998 : Acquisition of the patent portfolio and technical assets of VPL Research by Sun Microsystems

Slow progress

http://www.ziedaar.nl/article.php?id=413
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-04-12-reality-crumbles-whatever-happened-to-vr
2005 : eMagin Z800 3DVisor
2007 : Vuzix iWear VR920

A resurgence ?

Issue 254 of Edge magazine - June 2013
Issue 254 of Edge magazine - June 2013

2011 : Sony HMZ-T1
2012 : SMD ST1080
2012 : Sony HMZ-T2
2013 : Oculus Rift

In the media

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Aq9rBQPRPlFHdERUb2NJNWJFVk9IeTQwMDNBY3RTVlE&output=html

Movies

1973 : World on a Wire
1982 : Tron
1983 : Brainstorm

1992 : The Lawnmower Man
1994 : Disclosure
1995 : Johnny Mnemonic
HMD, dataglove
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vXSqN7qXwpU
1999 : The Thirteenth Floor

2013 : Pacific Rim
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vKz7WnU83E
HMD, telepresence, mechanical walking device

Television

1987 : Star Trek - The Next Generation
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d3/Holodeck2.jpg
The Holodeck, idea of immersive VR
1995 : VR.5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJienVp51iM
2009 : Virtuality (TV pilot)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92BpmY7xpRc
Virtual painting : http://www.criticalcommons.org/Members/Dethklok/clips/Virtuality%20Painting%202.mov/view
HMDs, datagloves, virtual environments (American Civil War, Grand Canyon), virtual sports (Surfing, Cycling, Mountaineering), activities (rockstar, virtual painting) War and extreme situations (cybersex, virtual death, virtual rape).
2015 : VR: Evolution
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4498556/?ref_=fn_al_tt_5
https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/3pf9p2/vr_evolution_tv_movie_2015_has_anyone_watched_it/

Books

http://www.mtbs3d.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=120&t=15235

Fiction

Simulacron-3 - Daniel F. Galouye (1964)

True Names - Vernor Vinge (1981)

Neuromancer - William Gibson (1984)

Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson (1992)

Rainbows End - Vernor Vinge (2006)

Daemon - Daniel Suarez (2009)

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline (2011)

Non-fiction

Virtual Reality - Howard Rheingold (1991)

Get Real: A Philosophical Adventure in Virtual Reality - Philip Zhai (1998)

Digital Sensations: Space, Identity and Embodiment in Virtual Reality - Ken Hillis (1999)

Multimedia: from Wagner to Virtual Reality - Randall Packer and Ken Jordan (2001)

Virtual Reality Technology, Second Edition - Grigore C. Burdea and Philippe Coiffet (2003)

Power, Madness, and Immortality: The Future of Virtual Reality - Mychilo Cline (2005)

Infinite Reality - Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson (2011)

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_reality

http://design.osu.edu/carlson/history/lesson17.html