Tag Archive: Helmet

All Brawn – Virtuality 1000CS HMD

VR hit the arcades (at least in England) with the 1991 debut of the Virtuality 1000CS and Dactyl Nightmare. The helmet was rugged, but simply massive, with two Romex style cables to power it up. If you’ve ever wondered why the HMD was such a bruiser, have a peek inside. Notice the thick walled plastic shell and the gobs of putty used to fill out the interior shape. Back in the day, tiny LCD displays were not the norm. Virtuality used a pair of fairly large Panasonic LCD monitors … too large, in fact, to be positioned side-by-side in front of any gamer’s eyes. Let’s dissect and see:

Virtuality-1000-CS-HMD Fully assembled – Here’s where you stick your head

Virtuality-1000-CS-HMD-OpticsHere’s what’s in front of your eyes
Notice the fairly large LCD (also another facing upwards just out of sight on the bottom of this photo
And… a pair of 45 deg. front surface mirrors to bounce the images into your eyes
Notice the cutouts for your nose

Virtuality at the Trocadero, London, 1991

“Clearly In The Development Stage”

We knew it was in the development stage, but did the Computer Chronicles have to remind any potential customers. That’s OK because the conference’s resident AI expert (didn’t AI bubble and burst in the 80’s) tells us: “… the resolution is low, the headgear is uncomfortable, but what’s exciting is … the promise of the technology.” Watch and learn:

As usual … I’m at the tail end of the video, long past my sell-by date.

Easy Sterilization – VIM

While the “easy sterilization” part was a little off-putting, this unique HMD was quite light-weight, although thin (not cheap) plastic made it more fragile than most.


My personal experience with this little fella revolves around the setup for a 1995 client trade show in Lisbon, arriving, VIM in hand, straight off the red-eye. Before I even got started, the cable strain relief at the back of the helmet gave way, and I spent the morning guessing where each of the 30 color-coded wires should be soldered.

For all the factoids, read the VIM Brochure!

Introducing a New VRontier!

In early 1993 many friends and associates received this letter:

Distinguished Associate or Friend,

We are pleased to introduce to you the beginning of a new chapter in the progress of virtual reality, in terms of its technology as well as its distribution.


For the first time, a head-mounted display is available packed with features requested by users, and for the first time, a virtual reality accessory is being distributed through a network of qualified developers.

A brochure followed:

Tier 1 brochure