AR Timeline

Augmented reality has only been developed over the last few decades, starting in 1968 with Ivan Sutherland. The definition of augmented reality is to create a computer generated image and place it into a users’ reality, this could be done by either done by video, sound or GPS data. In modern day we tend to see this commonly used in applications on mobile phones and tablets.

The first break through of augmented reality started with the creation of the first head-mounted display system in 1968 by Ivan Sutherland, with help from his Bob Sproull. This piece of technology allowed users to view simple wire frame drawing in their sight using computer generated graphics.

Almost a decade later Myron Krueger created The VideoPlace where he created an interactive environment where the public are surrounded by on screen silhouettes that are emitted by a combination of video cameras and projectors. This was a major invention in augmented reality as people could now connect with what was in front of the rather than just seeing it.

In 1992 an entrepreneur named Louis Rosenberg created the first fully immerse AR system that help aided pilots learn to fly while still being in a mobile position. Rosenburg created an exoskeleton that the use would wear so then they could perform visually made tasks.


As technology increased in intelligence, it made it easier for the entertainment industry to use the concept to attract more audiences. This mainly started after 1998 when NFL created the first virtual yellow line using the 1st & Ten Line computer (a machine that places the first down marker). Media were quite amazed by this technology as it was one of the first augmented reality seen on international television.

In 1999 NASA created an augmented reality system where pilots could practice to fly the X-23, this was done by overlaying a map over their Hybrid Synthetic Vision system. This system was one of the first flight simulations created which then influenced the creation of other flight simulators for airplane pilots and future NASA astronauts.

After the year 2000, more industries such as NFL, ARToolKit and Esquire Magazine introduced augmented reality into society. One example of these that hooked a lot of people into the idea of augmented reality was Esquire Magazine who created a Augmented Reality video with Robert Downey Jr in 2009 to promote the new Sherlock movie. Using AR for this type of media as it gets people to interact/ watch a magazine rather than just reading the articles.

To bring AR into every day use rather than just on magazines and simulations, Google introduces the Google Glass in 2014 where users are able to access Google Maps, Google Drive, Gmail and other applications through voice control, allowing them to access information with out using their phones. This product wasn’t as successful due to the limited number of apps and low battery life, AR products before this have not been portable so battery life was now an issue for AR devices.

2 years later Microsoft introduced their new and improved version on the Google Glass, called Microsoft Hololens, a new and improved headset that can now be interactive. The Hololens has been so popular that it company’s such as NASA and Japan Airlines use this software to explore the mechanics of their products without having to build the components using real life materials. This product can also be used for gaming as it a fully immersive experience that competes with other gaming products such as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, this is the first to bring gaming into the real world.

The most recent example of AR technology incorporates a users mobile phone and real world maps which is Pokemon GO, an app that allows users to catch real life pokemon that spawn in the real world, just like the original anime. Niantic Labs created this app shortly after the Hololens and has celebrity users such as Tyler Oakley and Zach Braff. This is still a popular game due to the additional features and new creatures.,3811-3.html


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