Virtual Reality in Aerospace and Defence: Timeline

GlobalData Thematic Research 19 August 2020 (Last Updated August 19th, 2020 18:43)

Since its nascence in the 1950s, Virtual Reality (VR) development has experienced peaks and troughs. The first VR headmounted display (HMD) system, The Sword of Damocles, was invented in 1968, while the term “virtual reality” was popularised by Jaron Lanier in the 1980s. By the end of that decade, VR was used for training and simulation in the US military and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Virtual Reality in Aerospace and Defence: Timeline
Service personnel trial the new virtual reality equipment. Credit: Crown copyright.

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.