Timeline of Virtual Reality History & Important VR Chronological Events

Virtual Reality, VR, Immersive Technology & Simulated Environment

Timeline of Virtual Reality History & Important VR Chronological Events

Timeline of Virtual Reality History

We have tried to come out with the timeline of virtual reality history. We also try to put together the important VR events which might have impact on the virtual reality world in a chronological manner.

The Virtual Reality History..


“Sensorama”, the first VR machine, was invented by Morton Heilig.


“Headsight”, the first VR helmet, was created by Corme and Byen. The helmet has one CRT screen attached to it together with a tracking magnetic system.


“Ultimate Display”, a VR helmet with two CRT screens, was created by Ivan Sutherland. The two CRT screens enabled the viewer to experience the 3D images.


Thomas A. Furness III created the first flight simulator for the Air Force.


Ivan Sutherland created the first virtual reality and augmented reality HMD (head-mounted display) which he named it as “The Sword of Damocles”. His student, Bob Sproull, also assisted him on this.


General Electric Corporation built one of the first computerized flight simulators. It provided 180-degree FOV (Field-of-View) by using three screens surrounding the training cockpit.


Myron Krueger first exhibited VIDEOPLACE at the Milwaukee Art Center. It is actually a virtual environment in darkened rooms containing large video screens.


“Aspen Movie Map” was created at MIT. This hypermedia system enabled the users to take a virtual tour through the Aspen city in Colorado.


McDonnell-Douglas Corporation incorporated virtual reality into its HMD (Head-mounted display).


StereoGraphics company produced the stereo vision glasses.


Jaron Lanier and Thomas G. Zimmerman founded VPL Research, Inc. This company is known as the first company to sell VR goggles and gloves. FYI, Jaron Lanier is the one who popularized the term “Virtual Reality”.


Dimension International company developed a software with the capability to 3D worlds in a personal computer.


Scott Foster founded Crystal River Engineering Inc. This company is specialized in real-time binaural, 3D audio processing.

ATARI launched the first video game machine with 3D technology to the mass market.


Jonathan Waldern demonstrated and introduced “Virtuality”, the virtual reality gaming machines, at Computer Graphics 90 exhibition.

Scott S.Fisher and Brenda Laurel founded Telepresence Research company. This company specialized in first-person media, virtual reality and also remote presence R&D.


Antonio Medina created a virtual reality system to drive the Mars robot rovers from Earth. This system also known as “Computer Simulated Teleoperation”.

SEGA announced the SEGA VR headset. This headset can be used arcade games and Mega Drive console.

Virtuality launched and shocked the VR industry at that time with its new level of immersiveness. It is also the first mass-produced VR entertainment system that can support multi-player and networked. This machine marked as a big achievement in virtual reality history.


SEGA released SEGA VR-1, a motion simulator arcade attraction.

VictorMaxx introduced CyberMaxx, the VR headset.


Virtual IO I-Glasses, the affordable home VR headsets was introduced.

VFX-1 Headgear Virtual Reality System from Forte Technologies was introduced.

Nintendo produced the Virtual Boy console which show 3D monochrome video games.


Google introduced a stereoscopic 3D mode version of Street View.


The big event in virtual reality history happen when Facebook acquired Oculus VR, a virtual reality headset company, for $2 billion.

Sony announced Project Morpheus, a VR headset for PlayStation 4 (PS4).

Google released the “Cardboard”, a D-I-Y stereoscopic viewer for smartphones.It is very low-cost system to encourage interest and development in VR applications.


Microsoft release the Hololens which is a pair of mixed reality smartglasses. It is the first head-mounted display running the Windows Mixed Reality platform under the Windows 10 OS.

PSVR (PlayStation VR) was introduced by Sony.

1) “Virtual Reality” from Wikipedia.
2) “Virtual Reality – The Origin Of Virtual Reality” article.
3) “Evolution of the virtual reality” from Computable Minds.


4 Responses

  1. Ashley Irons says:

    I would definitely add to this list. Virtual i-o i-glasses in 1996 and Forte VFX-1 headgear. Forte VFX1 was the most advanced, complex and expensive consumer VR system that appeared on the market during VR craze in mid-nineties. Both were important consumer VR headsets and should be included in this timeline.

    • alvirmin says:

      Thank you very much Ashley for the info. We have update the list as recommended.
      Hope to hear from you again. Have a nice day 🙂

  2. Im not sure if this information is accurate. It has been shown for example that Sensorama was created in 1957 not 56 and that Ivna Sutherland created such a concept in 1965 not 68. Actually, There are a lot of inconsistencies with the dates.

    • alvirmin says:

      Thank you very much for your input Adrian. Let us check the fact and update accordingly. Appreciate if you can share the sources as well for our references. Have a nice day sir.

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