From VR to metaverse: reviewing 30 years, 18 major events that have changed virtual reality

Stephen King’s novel adaptation of the film “genius weeder” has been released this month for 30 years.

The film is rather absurd. Its purpose is to warn people to pay more attention to the technology of virtual reality. VR was a new thing at that time.

After Facebook, the world’s largest social media company, changed its name to meta, the company shifted its strategic focus to virtual reality and augmented reality, and built a metaverse platform. Since then, every major company has started to layout or plan to layout XR (AR and VR collectively) products.

Today, VR has developed for a long time, and there will be a longer way to go in the future.

This paper reviews some “milestones” in the field of VR, starting with the introduction of the concept of VR after the release of the film “genius weeder” in 1992.

Premiere of the film “genius weeder” (March 6, 1992)

This film is not the first time that Stephen King’s film has been adapted to the screen and rotten.

The content of the film is slightly messy and contains violent factors. But the noise and light in the film create a comfortable dullness.

It is mentioned in the film that VR will eventually be controlled by a small number of scientists and futurists. Over time, this assertion has been increasingly proved to be correct.

The novel avalanche was published (June 1992)

Bosses of technology giants such as Zuckerberg are deeply attracted by the word “metaverse”.

“Metaverse” is the word that first appeared in this novel.

The novel constructs an anti utopian future. The book depicts that everything in the future depends on metaverse, and major enterprises control all virtual reality networks. People work, play, do anything in metaverse.

This seems to be what meta wants to achieve today.

The concept of metaverse depicted by Neil Stephenson in his novel has a deep social class stratification. The Internet world has not been liberated or evolved. Obviously, this is also the idea held by Silicon Valley today.

This book focuses not so much on VR as on language. Stephenson coined the word metaverse, and we still live in it today.

Nintendo releases the virtual boy (August 14, 1995)

This is a case of an experimental method of Nintendo control design. Virtual boy is the first batch of VR head display products. The quality of this device is far from what people think. Virtual boy can only display three-dimensional 3D black and red images.

However, Nintendo’s device has led people to discover a new mode of playing games with head mounted displays at home. This model continues, but the equipment has been updated.

Released by second life (June 23, 2003)

Second life is a massively multiplayer online game created by Linden lab. This is a start-up company, which began to explore XR in 1999.

This game is a world collection designed by players. It is a small digital universe, including all real estate and related brands.

Real life is staged in second life. Some even got married in this game.

Many people think this game will be of great significance. In fact, this is true from some angles.

2000 was the heyday of the game. Since then, second life has received less and less attention. But now, meta and other technology companies are enthusiastically chasing the wave of metaverse. Second life in 2003 proved that this concept is not completely new.

Palmer lucky developed the oculus rift (2009-2010)

Palmer lucky is a VR enthusiast. He is also the founder of oculus. He first developed the prototype of oculus rift, and he even saved money to buy parts of the device.

According to a eurogamer archive, the earliest models had a 90 degree field of view, low delay, and tactile feedback.

Luckey and doom’s developer John Carmack established a friendship on the mean to be seen forum. They made some modifications to luckey’s VR model together. This important relationship continued until oculus was formed.

The novel “the number one player” was published (August 16, 2011)

Some of Ernest Klein’s best-selling novels pay tribute to some elements of the novel avalanche.

This novel depicts another dystopia about the future, which also depends on VR technology. The theme of this time is to escape global warming and large-scale economic regression in the real world.

The plot of the novel is the integration of Charlie and the chocolate factory, and also integrates many elements of popular culture. Therefore, this novel only shows some problems related to VR on the surface.

Compared with avalanche, this novel may not have so much cultural influence on people’s cognition of VR. But this work helps to clarify the relationship between VR and the real world. This is what today’s technology giants are pursuing.

VR has become a means to escape the reality of suffering and the ultimate tool of escapism.

Oculus rift prototype was born (may July 2012)

John Carmack borrowed luckey’s prototype and began to show his products to the media in early 2012. The media were very interested

At E3 in 2012, kamak announced that Doom 3 BFG version will support VR head display.

Early prototypes of the device were held together with electrical tape. Its appearance was dubbed “rekindling people’s interest in VR development”.

It also created momentum for lucky’s KickStarter project, which he had planned before Carmack’s demonstration.

The first generation oculus rift development kit proved very successful, raising more than $2.4 million on KickStarter. VR mode in the game also began to appear gradually in the field of PC games.

Facebook acquires oculus VR (March 25, 2014)

Oculus VR was founded in 2012. Luckey, Brendan Iribe and Nate Mitchell are window members. Soon after, John Carmack left id software and became chief technology officer of oculus.

In 2014, the company was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion. Facebook plans to extend oculus’s influence beyond the game.

Oculus still maintains a certain degree of independence and cooperates with Samsung to develop gear VR, which is the first version of the company’s VR application in smart phones.

“Oculus has the opportunity to create the most social platform ever and change the way we work, play and communicate,” Zuckerberg said in a press release announcing the acquisition

Oculus VR was finally fully put into the market as Facebook reality labs, and later became reality labs after Facebook changed its name.

Google shows cardboard head display device (June 25, 2014)

The original Google cardboard headset was a gift for people attending the 2014 Google I / O conference. This humble cardboard helmet is flat at the beginning and can be folded to accommodate a variety of mobile phones for a simple VR like experience.

It even includes a side lever that can simulate touching the phone screen and interact in supported applications.

Cardboard, the predecessor of Google daydream, may still be the cheapest tool to watch 360 degree panoramic video. Google sold cardboard on its website and didn’t stop production until March 2021. This device is most often used in Google’s campus exploration projects. For many people, cardboard is an introduction to VR.

HTC and valve launch vive (March 1, 2015)

At the world mobile communication conference held in Barcelona, a participant was experiencing HTC’s vive virtual reality glasses

Facebook and oculus are not the only companies exploring virtual reality. In 2015, HTC, a once popular Android phone manufacturer, launched vive, a VR helmet designed in cooperation with valve.

The original vive used two 1080p displays, one for each eye, with a refresh rate of 90hz, and used the base station to track the VR movement of the room scale. The helmets of HTC and valve will help set the standard for the development of PC VR.

In the following years, HTC continued to release VR helmets, and valve finally released its own VR hardware called valve index in 2019.

The final oculus rift was released to the public (January 6, 2016)

Oculus rift virtual reality goggles appeared on the oculus booth of the 2016 international consumer conference

Oculus finally launched a pre orderable version of oculus rift in 2016. The price of this VR helmet is expensive, reaching $599. It needs to be equipped with expensive high-end computers to work properly.

Sony finally launched PS VR (October 13, 2016)

a visitor tests a pair of Sony’s new “Morpheus project” 3D virtual reality glasses in front of a computer

“Morpheus program” was launched in 2014 as a VR helmet under research of Playstation 4. Sony finally launched the host VR system, namely Playstation VR or PS VR, in October 2016.

PS VR features an ergonomic futuristic design and is partially hampered by the intricate system of cables on the old Playstation 4 model. The VR system also relies on the engagement of Sony’s Playstation move peripherals and cannot have a high-quality control mode like vive or oculus rift.

However, it is really a big event to realize VR on the game console that people really own. Sony further disclosed in February 2022; Some design details of PS VR 2 are introduced.

Apple and Google cooperate on VR and AR projects (2016 to date)

at the world mobile conference, a participant was experiencing the Google daydream VR device

Google tried the mobile phone based VR experience through daydream. This now disabled platform uses Android phones to drive simple VR applications and games. It is reported that Google is now developing an augmented reality device called project iris.

It is said that apple is developing its own high-end VR helmet and will launch ar hardware in advance sometime in the mid-2020’s. However, it remains to be seen whether the helmet rumored by apple is mainly prepared for developers or even whether it can be finally launched.

Facebook launches oculus quest and oculus rift s (April 30, 2019)

A participant tried out the new oculus quest virtual reality (VR) game system at Facebook F8 conference

In addition to the original oculus rift, oculus quest may be the most important product of Facebook and oculus. This independent VR helmet proves that VR applications and games can be very attractive even without the processing power of game computers. Moreover, the VR experience can be completely portable without experiencing the experience loss caused by mobile VR.

This further strengthens the position of touch controller as a VR controller design. You can see this small ring with handle anywhere, including oculus rift S. all subsequent VR helmet designs take this design as the standard.

Launch of oculus Quest 2 (September 16, 2020)

Gavin menichini uses oculus Quest 2 VR helmet to demonstrate immersive virtual experience

Launched at the end of 2020, oculus Quest 2 is a perfect version of oculus quest. It has a higher resolution display, more comfortable wearing feeling, support hand tracking, and the price is more close to the people.

Quest 2 has become a tool for Facebook to promote VR. Due to link cable, once rift s stops production, it will become the preferred way for users to experience PC VR.

It seems a bit ambitious to use the helmet for all applications imagined by Facebook, but the birth of Quest 2 may make ordinary people experience VR closer to the real “pleasure”.

Facebook changed its name to meta (October 28, 2021)

The biggest sign is that VR will continue to exist (at least for now), which may be the reason why Facebook decided to rename its brand meta and focus on building a “tangible Internet”.

We have many reasons to be skeptical about Facebook’s decision and the overall situation of the company, but through repeated publicity of “metaverse”, it has indeed set off a wave of VR boom.

“Metaverse” fire has become the ultimate buzzword (now)

After the emergence of “enterprise metaverse”, we seem to have no choice but to blow with these companies.

Everyone has a way to explain and sell metaverse, and they’re all bad. Metaverse has become a meaningless buzzword to indicate that your company is doing something futuristic. Meta also bought a somewhat scary Super Bowl advertisement for Quest 2.

After the market value once fell by a quarter, meta is obviously considering returning to video products. The cycle of VR and metaverse is still going on.