Mass production of virtual reality systems began in the early 1990s, led by Virtuality , which opened dedicated VR arcades.

Listed below are the major milestones in the journey of the VR theme, as identified by GlobalData.

1956 – Sensorama, considered to be one of the earliest VR systems, was invented.

1968 – The first VR HMD, The Sword of Damocles, was created.

1977 – Developed at MIT, the Aspen Movie Map enabled users to vitake a virtual tour of Aspen, Colorado.

1984 – Jaron Lanier founded VPL Research, one of the first companies to develop and sell VR products.

1991 – The first VR arcade machine, Virtuality, was introduced.

1994 – Sega introduced its VR-1 motion simulator in its SegaWorld arcades.

2007 – Google introduced Street View, which provides panoramic views of locations.

2010 – The first prototype of the Oculus Rift headset was designed.

2014 – Facebook acquired Oculus for $2bn.

2014 – Sony announced the launch of Project Morpheus, a VR headset for its PS4 console.

2015 – Apple awarded the patent for a head-mounted display apparatus.

2015 – Google launched Cardboard, which uses a head mount to turn a smartphone into a VR device.

2015 – Samsung launched the Gear VR headset.

2015 – The HTC Vive headset, developed by HTC and Valve, was unveiled at Mobile World Congress.

2016 – The first generation Oculus Rift device was released.

2016 – Sony’s introduced PlayStation VR (PSVR).

2017 – Microsoft launched the Xbox One X, its VR-ready games console and headset.

2018 – Facebook revealed camera-loaded glasses optimised for ‘social VR’.

2018 – Facebook released its untethered Oculus Go headset.

2018 – Lenovo ’s Mirage Solo, the first headset running Google Daydream, became available.

2019 – Sony announced that it had sold more than four million PSVR headsets.

2021 – More than 85 million VR headsets will be in use in China, according to PwC.

2023 – Cloud-based VR gaming will be increasingly prominent, supported by 5G networks.

2030 – VR will be a $28bn market, according to GlobalData forecasts.

This is an edited extract from the Virtual Reality in Aerospace and Defense – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.