“Put on Your 3D Glasses Now: The Past, Present, and Future of Virtual and Augmented Reality” by Lanman, Fuchs, Mine, McDowall and Abrash

  • ©Douglas Lanman, Henry Fuchs, Mark R. Mine, Ian E. McDowall, and Michael Abrash


Entry Number: 12


    Put on Your 3D Glasses Now: The Past, Present, and Future of Virtual and Augmented Reality

Course Organizer(s):



    There are no prerequisites for this course (except possibly strong enthusiasm, or healthy skepticism, regarding emerging wearable displays). Students, developers, researchers, hobbyists, and pioneers in virtual and augmented reality should find the speaker roster has something to offer each.

    Wearable displays appear on the cusp of consumer adoption, with a new wave of excitement in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) ignited last year by the joint introduction of two early-stage prototypes: the OculusRift DeveloperKit1 and the Google Glass Explorer Edition2. The existence of these compelling consumer prototypes in 2013 is a testament to the great technological strides made in optical fabrication, embedded computing, motion tracking, and real-time rendering since the introduction of the first head-mounted display (HMD) by Ivan Sutherland in 1968.

    In this course, we review the past, present, and future of wearable displays, with presentations from VR/AR pioneers, leading entrepreneurs, and academic researchers. The course begins with a historical retrospective by Henry Fuchs (UNC Chapel Hill). Mark Mine (Walt Disney Imagineering) will then discuss how virtual reality technologies are applied at Disney, both in front of guests and behind the scenes. Michael Abrash (Oculus VR)will describe why VR isn’t just the next platform, why that’s so, what’s going to be involved to get to that point, and why VR is going to open up huge new research and development directions. Afterward, Ian McDowall (Intuitive Surgical, Fakespace Labs) will present an in-depth tutorial on the the engineering of wearable displays, spanning human factors to optical design. Douglas Lanman (NVIDIA Research) will then expand on this tutorial, summarizing emerging wearable display technologies, emphasizing optical designs capable of achieving eyeglasses-like form factors.

    SIGGRAPH has a long been the premiere venue for disseminating research in virtual and augment reality. This course continues this tradition, providing a historical retrospective, a state-of-the-art report, and—most significantly—an inspiration for young researchers and developers entering a world of wearable displays.