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History of Augmented Reality


Mortin Helig creates the Sensorama, a machine made to affect all the senses including touch and smell.


Ivan Sutherland creates the first head-mounted display (HMD) named “The Sword of Democles”


The term “augmented reality” is attributed to Thomas Caudell while working with Boeing.


Hirokazu Kato creates the ARToolKit at Nara Institute of Science and Technology. For the first time it allowed video capture tracking of the real world to combine with the interaction of virtual objects.


Bruce Thomas at Wearable computer lab at University of Southern Australia creates the first outdoor mobile AR game called ARquake.


Smartphones are created and sold on the market, and AR apps are invented using the camera for interactive maps, photography, and various other uses.


Google creates a head-mounted optical display called “Google Glass”. The product is expensive and ultimately was not greatly successful in the market but it opened the doors for more similar products to be developed.


Niantic labs (a startup within Google) creates the game “Ingress”, a AR role playing game that was multiplayer on massive scale involving people and locations all over the world. The game is played on Android smartphones.


AR is one of the fastest growing technologies. It is beginning to be used in nearly every market including education, military, sports, tourism, advertising, fashion, architecture and the list just goes on. Many new HMDs are being developed like “Microsoft Hololens” which projects holographs to play games like “Minecraft” but the applications are endless. “Magic Leap” is working on creating an HMD that truly looks like there are new physical objects mixed in with reality by mimicking light and movement.

The Future of AR

30% of smartphone users use an AR app at least once a week. With 64% of the 320 million Americans owning smartphones, that’s over 60 million people in the US alone.

The AR market is growing and growing fast. The revenue for AR has grown exponentially in the past 5 years but it is projected to bring in 200 times this year’s revenue in the next 5 years. Here’s what that number looks like:


AR apps are projected to have more than 200 million users by 2018 and by 2020 over 103 million automobiles will be using AR.