Artifact Details

Title

Virtual Reality Before It Had That Name

Catalog Number

102639877

Type

Moving Image

Date

1996-03-19

Participants

Sproull, Bob, Speaker
Sutherland, Ivan, Speaker

Publisher

Sun Microsystems

Format

VHS

Description

Ivan Sutherland begins by recounting the development of the early head-mounted virtual reality device with a series of overhead projections. Begun at MIT and Harvard, and later at the University of Utah, Sutherland created what he called The Sword of Damocles with funding from sources including the CIA and Bell Helicopter, initially to be used as a display for helicopter pilots. Sutherland recounts the goals for the project, as well as the requirements to make it work, and the areas in which they had to compromise. Bob Sproul follows, discussing how he came to the project as an undergraduate student at Harvard, and others who worked on the system, including Danny Cohen, and the techniques used, and challenges faced by the team. Sutherland then weighs the success of the project vs. the failures within the technology. The video ends with a question and answer session.

Series Title

Bay Area Computer History Perspectives