Augmented Reality was first published in 1957 by a cameraman named Morton Heilig. He invented the Sensorama, which provided the viewer with images, sounds, vibrations and smells. Of course, it wasn’t computer-controlled, but it was the first example of an attempt to add additional data to a project.
In 1968, Ivan Sutherland, the American computer scientist and early Internet influencer, invented the first head-mounted display as a kind of window into a virtual world. The technology used at that time made the invention impracticable for mass use.
In 1975, the American computer artist Myron Krueger developed “Videoplace”, the first “Virtual Reality” interface that enabled users to manipulate and interact with virtual objects and do so in real time.
Steve Mann, a computational photography researcher, developed the concept of wearable computing in 1980.
Of course, this was not yet a real virtual or augmented reality, because virtual reality was coined by Jaron Lainer in 1989 and by Thomas P. Caudell of Boeing with the term “augmented reality” in 1990.
The first functional AR system was probably the one developed by Louis Rosenberg at the USAF Armstrong Research Lab in 1992. This was called Virtual Fixtures and was an incredibly complex robotic system designed to compensate for the lack of fast 3D graphics processing performance in the early 1990s. It enabled the overlay of sensory information on a workspace to improve human productivity.
There were many other breakthroughs in augmented reality. We have prepared a small listing below for you:
- Bruce Thomas developed an outdoor mobile game called ARQuake in 2000.
- ARToolKit (a design tool), which was made available in Adobe Flash in 2009.
- Google announced its open beta version of Google Glasses in 2013.
- Microsoft announced augmented reality support and the HoloLens headset in 2015.