The origin of virtual reality goes all the way back to the 1950´s, where highly innovative and creative inventors like Morton Heilig and Ivan Sutherland used the scarce technology they had available to create revolutionary devices, simulating a real environment within a virtual interface. Myron Kruegere was the first person to use the term “artificial reality” to describe his invention in 1969.
The first sixteen years of the 21st century have seen an important advancement in the development of virtual reality technologies. Computer technology, micro-technology and mobile technology have broken barriers and moved forward with gigantic steps like never before while prices have been steadily going down, allowing more people to easily buy high-tech products. The rise of smartphones with high-density displays and 3D graphics capabilities has enabled a generation of light and practical virtual reality devices. Through cameras with highly advanced detection sensors, motion controllers and interactive interfaces, the game industry has continued to push the development of virtual reality forward without any intention of reducing its pace.
Recently, tech giants like Google have launched virtual reality products that are highly accessible, like Google Cardboard, a virtual reality device made from cardboard that works by placing a smartphone inside to create a virtual reality environment. Companies like Samsung have taken this concept even further with products like the Samsung Gear VR, which has more intelligent skills, like being able to control the interface through gestures.
Clearly, this decade of the 21st century has been, and will continue to be, a key period in the virtual reality industry. Such is the conviction that virtual reality is the future that companies like Facebook have invested huge amounts of money in virtual reality, like its acquisition of one of the pioneers of modern virtual reality, Oculus, for two billion dollars in 2014. Competition is becoming stronger, and thanks to the struggle many companies have made to capture the attention of millions around the world with the latest innovation in virtual reality technology, the future is now closer than ever.