Augmented reality (AR) took the world by storm with Pokemon Go. The app used AR to overlay digital images of Pokemon creatures on to a live view of the gamer’s surroundings. Virtual reality (VR) is also an incredibly significant form of modern technology, consisting of devices like the Oculus Rift whereby users can be transported to real-world and fantasy places, totally immersing the user and replacing real-life surroundings completely.
Although augmented reality and virtual reality technologies have existed for more than 30 years, neither have been available to the public until fairly recently. To understand the advanced nature of both augmented and virtual reality as it is today, knowledge of the developmental history of such technology is necessary.
The birth of AR/VR
The beginnings of AR and VR can be identified long before modern computing technology was born, but the head-mounted display technology that we associate with AR and VR today originates from in 1968 when Professor Ivan Sutherland created The Sword of Damocles. The system relied upon a general-purpose computer, a clunky headset suspended from above. Although Sutherland is often credited for the invention of the Head-Mounted Display, in 1961 Philco (a company in Philadelphia), developed a method whereby there was a camera was in one room and a user sat in another with the display. Although this may simply resemble television or film, the VR element comes in because magnets were used to match the position of the camera with the position of the user’s head – displaying the user visuals as if they were witnessing it first hand.
Where we are now
With smartphones being so integral in the contemporary world, screens have become an essential component in our everyday lives. We are constantly enclosed in a world of screens, and companies have embraced this by developing a variety of virtual

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