History Augmented Reality: The Past, The Present & The Future

The growth of augmented reality (AR) applications in recent years show a significant increase in demand and investment in AR. Therefore, it is essential to take a look at the history of augmented reality to deeply understand this popular technology and fully take advantage of it.

This article will show you the brief history of Augmented Reality and some predictions about the future.

The Current State of Augmented Reality

At this time, AR is currently used in many industrial sectors for different purposes: Archaeology, Art, Architecture, Commerce, Office, Construction, Industrial Design, Education, Translation, Emergency Management, Disaster Recovery, Medical and Search and Rescue, Games, Sports, Entertainment, Tourism and Military.

The Current State of Augmented Reality

AR is achieved through a variety of technological innovations; these can be implemented either individually or in combination to create AR. They are as follows:

  • General hardware components include the processor, the display, the sensors and input devices. A smartphone typically contains a processor, a display, accelerometers, GPS, a camera, a microphone, and other hardware required to function as an AR device.
  • Displays such as optical projection systems, head-mounted displays, eyeglasses, contact lenses, the HUD (heads-up display), virtual retinal displays, EyeTap (a device that changes the rays of light captured from the environment and substitutes them with computer-generated ones), Spatial Augmented Reality (SAR – which uses ordinary projection techniques as a substitute for a display of an object).
  • Sensors and input devices include GPS, gyroscopes, accelerometers, compasses, RFID, wireless sensors, touch recognition, speech recognition, eye tracking, and peripherals.
  • Software: Most AR development will be in developing additional software to take advantage of the hardware capabilities. An Augmented Reality Markup Language (ARML) is already used to standardize virtual reality’s XML grammar. Several software development kits (SDK) are available that provide simple environments for AR development.

The Future of Augmented Reality

Augmented reality technology will increase as we become more reliant on our mobile devices. AR software advancements will be the way forward because most consumers own a smartphone and already carry it everywhere, making it a convenient medium to bring AR to nearly every consumer.

The truth is that everyday consumers are already using augmented reality; they aren’t aware of it. AR is still perceived as too ‘high tech’ for the average. The most significant change in augmented reality will have to be how it is delivered to change perception.

The Future of Augmented Reality

On the other hand, AR hardware is still behind the times. However, developing a practical augmented reality headset is a significant opportunity. Wearable technology is gradually becoming the norm, and as this trend continues, people may be more open to AR hardware. Therefore, the adoption of AR technology must begin with software applications that meet consumers where they are now.


What was the first augmented reality?

The first AR technology, named ‘Sword of Damocles’ was created in 1968 at the University of Salt Lake City in the United States. The device was a head-mounted three-dimensional display that functioned as a pair of 3D glasses.

Who invented AR and VR?

Ivan Sutherland was the first inventor of the AR device named “Sword of Damocles”. However, the term was not used until 1990 when Tom Caudell, a Boeing researcher, coined the term “augmented reality”.

Similarly, today’s VR technologies build upon ideas that date back to the 1800s. But until 1989, the term “virtual reality” was coined by Jaron Lanier, founder of VPL Research. At that time, he began developing the equipment required to experience “virtual reality,” such as goggles and gloves.

You may also be interested in: augmented reality vs virtual reality

Who is known for founding augmented reality?

With the assistance of his student Bob Sproull, Ivan Edward Sutherland at the University of Utah developed the first Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) head-mounted display system.

He is a computer scientist and Internet pioneer who is widely regarded as a computer graphics pioneer. His early work in computer graphics and his teaching in that subject with David C. Evans at the University of Utah in the 1970s was groundbreaking in the field. 

When was augmented reality launched?

The term ‘augmented reality’ was coined in 1990 by Boeing researcher Tim Caudell. After that, the first AR tool, ‘Virtual Fixtures’ was created by Louis Rosenburg at the US Air Force Research Laboratory, which serves as virtual flying training for Air Force pilots. 


In conclusion, by understanding the roots and trajectories of AR, we can better appreciate the opportunities and challenges of this emerging field, and perhaps even contribute to its continued growth and development. If you still have concerns about any further information, please contact us!

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