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History of AR and VR [Infographic]

It is predicted that by 2020, one third of global consumers are expected to be using VR and by 2022 3.5 billion AR devices will be in use - it’s easy to call it a result of modern science. From the futuristic Telesphere Mask of the 1960s to the failed, yet still iconic, 1995 Nintendo Virtual Boy, the history behind VR tech may go back farther than you think.

Over 20 years before the beginning of the American Civil War, the first ever piece of “virtual reality” was invented. The stereoscope, developed in 1838 by Charles Wheatstone allowed users to view an artificial 3D image, using just a reliance on optical illusion and what was understood about human vision capabilities at the time. Though very primitive compared to the immersive headsets we are familiar with today, this simple piece of tech is a far cry from modern developments. But it all had to start somewhere.

Clunky first generation headsets of the mid-20th century laid the groundwork for the tech behind the 250+ options available right now on Amazon. Take a look at this infographic for more on the history of virtual reality tech, where it all began, and what we can learn from the past to predict the future.

History of AR and VR