V-Rtifacts

Tag Archive: HMD

What to do with the Cable? – Dynamic Visions

If you’ve ever tried out Virtual Reality, the FIRST thing you’ll feel is the tug of the helmet cable as you virtually (and actually) try to walk down the path. Many HMDs use the weight of a rear exiting cable as a counter-weight to offset the heavy front end containing the displays and optics. In 1995 a Canadian company, Dynamic Visions, using the lightweight Kaiser Electro-Optics VIM, offered a solution (No, I’m talking about the human attendant to wrangle the cable):

Dynamic-Visions-Cable

Actually it’s a flexible post dangling the cable above the gamer.

Dynamic-Visions-Orion

A Sweet Ride – IAAPA ’94

By 1994 the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) exhibition floor was packed with VR systems. As a potential marketplace, blood was in the water and you couldn’t tell the fish from the sharks. With a very few exceptions most of these companies had been chewed up, eaten and excreted as waste by the ’95 or ’96 show.

Motion platforms were very much the rage; safety less so by the looks of this system:

IAPPA94
Notice he’s wearing dark shorts…

And a couple more motion platforms:

IAPPA94-Jet-Ski

IAPPA94-Horse

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.

Lawrence Taylor Teams Up With Virtual Reality

Sidelined in early Nov. 1992, LT was moving on to bigger and better things… Virtual Reality. The VRI-LT Press Release says it all:

Virtual Reality, Inc. (Electronic Bulletin Board — VIRT) has announced today the signing of an agreement with Lawrence Taylor’s All Pro Sports Products, Inc. for the development, commercialization and worldwide marketing of virtual reality sports and entertainment games.

Somewhere I’ve got a photo of Jerry Garcia wearing a VRI head mounted display. Gotta dig through the cartons of analog images.

By the looks of its VRI-Brochure, VRI was covering all the bases. The stock listing and suits bucked the trend in the VR biz.

<p>Virtual Reality, Inc. - eye logo</p>

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.

Tier1

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