When was Augmented Reality Invented | Past & Future of AR, VR & Mixed Reality

In 1965, a man named Ivan Sutherland envisioned a concept which he named ‘Ultimate Display’. Sutherland made the first VR HMD that...

Written by Niel Patel · 7 min read >
AR VR in 1900s

When Was Augmented Reality Invented

With the development of the first head-mounted display system by Evan Sutherland in 1968, augmented reality technology was Invented. However, it wasn’t until 1990 that Boeing researcher Tim Codell coined the term “augmented reality”.

First AR technology was created in 1968 by computer scientist Evan Sutherland

As you know now, the first AR technology was invented in 1968 by computer scientist Evan Sutherland (dubbed as the “father of computer graphics”) at Harvard. In the decades that followed, laboratory universities, businesses, and government agencies advanced AR for wearables and digital displays. These early systems allowed simulations for aviation, military, and industrial purposes by superimposing virtual information on the physical environment (for example, overlaying a terrain with geo-local information).

With a growing list of use cases for AR, the technology has come a long way. Augmented reality makes tasks easier – and definitely more fun! – from NASA simulations to immersive marketing experiences.

First Draft of Augmented Reality Invention

First to achieve augmented reality to some extent in 1957

Morton Heilig, a cinematographer, was the first to achieve augmented reality to some extent in 1957. He created the Sensorama, which provided the viewer with visuals, sounds, vibrations, and smells. Of course, it wasn’t computer-controlled, but it was the first attempt at enhancing an experience with additional data.

The head-mounted display was invented by Ivan Sutherland, an American computer scientist, and early Internet influence, in 1968 as a kind of window into a virtual world. Because of the technology available at the time, the invention was impractical for mass use. This was the time when the invention of AR VR technologies started growing.

In 1975, Myron Krueger, an American computer artist, created “Videoplace,” the first “virtual reality” interface, which allowed users to manipulate and interact with virtual objects in real-time.

In 1980, a computational photography researcher named Steve Mann introduced the world to wearable computing.

Of course, these weren’t called “virtual reality” or “augmented reality” back then because Jaron Lainer coined the term “virtual reality” in 1989 and Thomas P Caudell of Boeing coined the term “augmented reality” in 1990.

Louis Rosenberg’s AR system, developed at USAF Armstrong’s Research Lab in 1992, was most likely the first fully functional AR system. Virtual Fixtures was a highly complex robotic system created to compensate for the lack of high-speed 3D graphics processing power available in the early 1990s. It allowed for the overlay of sensory data on a workspace in order to boost human productivity.

There were many other breakthroughs in augmented reality between here and today

  • In 2015, Microsoft announced augmented reality support for their HoloLens augmented reality headset.
  • In 2013, Google announced the open beta of Google Glass (a project with mixed results).
  • In the year 2000, Bruce Thomas created ARQuake, an outdoor mobile AR game.
  • In 2009, Adobe Flash made ARToolkit (a design tool) available.

Inventor of Augmented Reality

In 1957, Morton Heilig, a cinematographer, was the first inventor of augmented reality to some extent. He created the Sensorama, which included visuals, sounds, vibrations, and smells for the viewer. Of course, it wasn’t computer-controlled, but it was the first attempt at using additional data to enhance an experience.

Augmented Reality Research Paper


Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have become popular research topics in recent years. However, no bibliometric reports analyzing the relevant scientific literature in relation to the application of these technologies in medicine have been published.


We used a bibliometric approach to identify and analyze the scientific literature on virtual reality and augmented reality research in medicine, revealing popular research topics, key authors, scientific institutions, countries, and journals. We also wanted to capture and describe the most common themes and medical conditions studied by VR and AR research.


The Web of Science electronic database was combed for relevant papers on virtual reality research in medicine. The database’s “Analyze” and “Create Citation Report” functions were used to gather basic publication and citation data. For further analysis, the complete bibliographic data was exported to VOSviewer and Bibliometrix, two bibliometric software packages. To illustrate the recurring keywords and words mentioned in the titles and abstracts, visualization maps were created.


The findings were based on data from 8399 papers. Diagnostic and surgical procedures, as well as rehabilitation, were major research topics. Pain, stroke, anxiety, depression, fear, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders were among the most commonly studied medical conditions. Overall, contributions to the literature were distributed globally, with the United States and the United Kingdom contributing the most. The average number of citations for studies in more clinically related research areas like surgery, psychology, neurosciences, and rehabilitation was higher than for studies in computer sciences and engineering.


The bibliometric analysis conducted unequivocally reveals the diverse emerging applications of virtual reality and augmented reality in medicine. We expect the technology to have a significant impact on clinical practice and patient lives as it matures and becomes more accessible in countries where VR and AR research is strong.

Augmented reality in the 60s & 70s

Here i am adding the video of the very first time when AR was being invented. The first head-mounted display system for AR was invented by Ivan Sutherland in 1968 – nearly 50 years to the day.  Here’s a very short video below showing it in action

In the 1970s, Myron Krueger established Videoplace, the first “artificial reality” lab, allowing users to interact with virtual objects for the first time. To place users within an artificial environment, Videoplace used projectors, video cameras, special-purpose hardware, and on-screen silhouettes of the users. The lab allowed users in different rooms to interact with one another by recording their movements on video, analyzing them and then transferring them to silhouette representations of themselves in the artificial environment. From 1989, here’s a cool explainer video about the Video place lab.

Augmented Reality in the 80s & 90s

Despite the fact that the concept of “augmented reality” had been explored for over two decades, the term “augmented reality” did not become official until 1990. Tom Caudell, a Boeing researcher, coined the term to describe how they assisted workers in an airplane factory with the assembly of cables into planes. In a see-through head-mounted display, they were doing this with display wire bundle assembly schematics. Boeing was one of the first companies to use augmented reality and virtual reality in their business operations.

Augmented Reality in the 2000s & today

In 2003, the NFL inserted the virtual first-down marker using the popular Skycam, which was used for aerial views of the field.

In 2009, Esquire magazine used augmented reality in print media in collaboration with Robert Downey Jr. Readers can experience augmented reality content by scanning the barcode on the magazine with their software on their computer.

ARToolKit, released the same year, allows Internet browsers to use augmented reality.

Since its inception, augmented reality has come a long way, and the advancements in the last five years have been even more promising.
Augmented Reality in Today’s World

Volkswagen began using augmented reality as part of their car manuals in 2013. The MARTA app on the iPad can be used to view the vehicle’s internal workings so that service mechanics know what they’re dealing with.

The MARTA application can also display a series of instructions to assist mechanics with their projects. It can even aid in the replacement of parts. It can go as far as specifying which way the parts should be facing. The MARTA app can also be used for more cosmetic projects, such as experimenting with different color paint jobs on your car.

In 2014, Google Glass was unveiled and made available to the general public. The Google Glass was not as successful as its creators had hoped, but it did demonstrate the potential of wearable augmented reality. Already, the second iteration appears to be more promising and useful.

Factory workers are using technology to assist with everyday work rather than scrolling through social media and other applications. It guides employees through their daily tasks, allowing them to be more productive and efficient.

Microsoft unveils the next generation of wearable augmented reality in 2016. The HoloLens appears to be everything that Google Glass aspired to be, but it is unquestionably more expensive and not as discreet and wearable in everyday life. The technological advancement between the two is undeniable, but the price range of $3000 to $5000 is out of reach for the majority of people.

In 2021, the introduction of AR in mobile app is very common. Many mobile app development companies offer AR VR features in a budget. It shows that AR has grown its wing completely and reaching to common hands.

Augmented Reality Research Paper 2019

The goal of this study was to use meta-analysis methods to examine studies in the field of Augmented Reality applications and research from around the world in order to identify trends in the field. A total of 1008 pieces of research were analyzed for the study, which was published between 2001 and 2019 and was chosen using a purposeful sampling method. The global trends in Augmented Reality applications and research were examined using 13 criteria. The following criteria were used: index, year of publication, number of authors, country of research, research area, method, education grade, sample group, sample number, data collection method, bibliography number, analysis techniques, research trends, and sample group, sample number. Percentage and frequency were used to interpret the data. Many fields, including education technology, engineering arts, visual arts education, and special education, are incorporating Augmented Reality technologies.

A systematic review of the literature on AR was conducted and applied in the context of educational inclusion; a total of 50 studies, conference papers, book chapters, and journal articles were analyzed using the content analysis method. The following factors were taken into account in the chosen studies: educational field, benefits, limitations, uses, challenges, and educational scope. We also looked at the purpose of the studies and the research methods used, as well as the sample size and population effects.

Augmented Reality Research Paper 2020

The global augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) market is expected to generate $1,274.4 billion in revenue by 2030, up from $37.0 billion in 2019. The market is expected to grow at a robust CAGR of 42.9 percent over the forecast period (2020-2030).

The market’s growth is being fueled by rising smartphone and tablet computer penetration, increasing enterprise technology adoption, and vendors’ increasing focus on price reduction. In 2019, the VR division accounted for the majority of the market share between AR and VR.

The use of virtual reality (VR) is growing in a variety of industries, most notably gaming, and VR prices are falling, resulting in greater adoption of the technology. VR provided consumers with an immersive experience, which is why gaming companies are incorporating these features into their services and products. Because of the various benefits offered by the technology, the AR category is expected to grow at a faster rate during the forecast period.

Augmented Reality Research Paper 2021

Consumers are getting more access to augmented reality technology. According to ARtillery Intelligence’s research, there were 598 million AR active devices at the end of 2020, with that number expected to rise to 1.73 billion by 2024.

AR will become more mainstream as more consumers adopt it, and it will no longer be considered a niche technology. AR experienced a significant period of growth in 2020, with growth expected to continue in 2021.

Mixed Reality Research Paper

The Mixed Reality (MR) paradigm, which proposes overlaying our real-world environment with digital, computer-generated objects, is discussed in this chapter. It gives examples of applications and discusses their technical implementation limitations and solutions. Users of MR systems perceive both the physical environment around them and digital elements presented on semitransparent displays, for example. Signal processing, computer vision, computer graphics, user interfaces, human factors, wearable computing, mobile computing, information visualisation, and display and sensor design are all part of MR’s interdisciplinary nature. This chapter discusses potential MR applications, technical challenges in implementing MR systems, and usability and collaboration issues in MR. It includes a section with a selection of MR projects that have been partially or fully completed at Swiss universities, as well as a section on current challenges and trends.

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