Sunday, March 14, 2010

The History of HUDs and SVSs.


Been thinking a bit about VR Googles and how they once looked Hi-Tech, but now look Retro. Been thinking about The World That Never Came - The VR World That Never Came; about how other technologies/ideas/platforms surplanted it; a sort of Darwinian Survival of the Fittest Tech - as opposed to, say, The 1950's World That Never Came: the monorails and the nuclear jetliners and the Ditko cityscapes.

I think the term VR was first coined around '89 - I'd always assumed it was earlier - but it seemed so prevalent and zeitgesit-y for a while that there was even a dictum at 2000AD in the mid-90s that you couldn't use Virtual Reality in a story because it'd become such a cliche already. That really isn't that long ago, when you think about it, yet it already feels like another world, one already ripe for What-If-Piracy. Some novel, Post-Tron way of approaching the topic; new methodologies of moving 'outside' ourselves.

The VR-Tech research impetus spun off into attack-helicopter pilot HUDs where the concept of visual overlays took hold and planted the conceptual seed for AR: layered reality.

VR: it seems like yesterday now.