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Virtual Reality Blueprints by John Williamson, Charles Palmer

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1968 – Sword of Damocles

In 1968, Sutherland demonstrated an HMD with interactive computer graphics: the first true HMD. It was too large and heavy to be comfortably worn, so it was suspended from the ceiling. This gave it its name (Damocles had a sword suspended over his head by a single hair, to show him the perilous nature of those in power).

The computer-generated images were interactive: as the user turned their head, the images would update accordingly. But, given the computer processing power of the time, the images were simple white vector-line drawings against a black background. The rotation of the head was tracked electromechanically through gears (unlike today's HMDs, which use gyroscopes and light sensors), which no doubt added ...

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