VR History – Ivan Sutherland and the Sword of Damocles

Ivan Sutherland was a computer scientist and internet enthusiast, to say the least. He is renowned as the "father of computer graphics," his works and teachings as a professor at the University of Utah, was pioneering the field. 

In 1968, Sutherland developed the "Sword of Damocles," with the help of his student Bob Sproull. The Sword of Damocles was the world's first VR head mounted display that was connected to a computer. Before the SoD, HMDs were connected to cameras. Ivan called it the "Sword of Damocles" because the contraption was huge, and kind of scary, being suspended in the air by ceiling arm-things. The device was extremely uncomfortable to wear and was very impractical. But, it got its job done. Albeit, they were very primitive, being wireframe rooms and objects, but at the time, it was revolutionary.

The Sword of Damocles VR device. Very uncomfortable, and very impractical in terms of size and use. However, I do not believe this was being developed with the intention of commercializing it, merely to experiment.

The Sword of Damocles VR device. Very uncomfortable, and very impractical in terms of size and use. However, I do not believe this was being developed with the intention of commercializing it, merely to experiment.