If you’re seeking the poster boy for virtual reality, Palmer Luckey could be considered a good candidate. He created the first prototype for what was to become the Oculus Rift headset in his parents’ garage in 2011 – remarkably, at the age of 18. Three years later, Facebook bought his company for US$2 billion; it plans to release an Oculus headset to the consumer market in early 2016.
While Luckey’s tenacious product development and Facebook’s subsequent backing may have marked a turning point for virtual reality, the technology has been a long time coming. In fact, it could be argued that VR is a descendent of Victorian-era stereoscopes, in which two slightly altered images were viewed through lenses to create an impression of 3D.
It wasn’t until the 1950s that virtual reality as we know it began to be developed but, by the late 90s, the industry had waned in the face of a much larger and (at the time) more promising beast: the internet.
In this infographic by The Digital Marketing Bureau we travel through the iterations of virtual reality, to arrive at the consumer headsets now making their way to market.