Virtual reality or ‘VR’ as the kids call it these days has had a burst of growth over the last few years. Movies like ‘Ready Player One’ showcased VR as the ultimate escape from reality. The pandemic helped increase the sale of headsets as people were stuck inside their homes for months. But this technology is not new, it has been around since the 1800’s!
The first person to create a 3-dimensional environment through a special pair of goggles was Sir Charles Wheatstone. In 1838 he created what he would call the stereoscope which demonstrated how the human brain can combine two images from each eye with different depths, creating the 3D effect. Since the stereoscope there have been hundreds of different headsets created.
Sega was the first company to try and launch a commercial VR headset with accompanying games in 1993. The Sega VR was first rolled out at gaming demos but failed miserably as users complained it was too sluggish and made them feel nauseous. Today the name Oculus is fairly well known in the VR world. Their first model actually came out in 2013. Listed for $300, the Oculus Rift DK began after a Kickstarter campaign for Oculus to get the Rift made but has since been discontinued.
This guide from VR.Space lists the headsets developed for VR from the 1990’s to 2021. The guide also lists the cost of the product, how it is powered (PC, Console, Phone or Standalone), the resolution and the field of view.
The most expensive model shown on the list is the Canon MREAL S1. Announced in 2020 this PC powered headset will set you back almost 40k with a list price of $38,500. I don’t know about you, but if I am paying those kinds of prices I better feel like superman when I’m wearing it.