Sensorama: Virtual Reality from 1962

Sensorama Who says that virtual reality is anything new? Inventor and cinematographer Morton Heilig had a firm grip on it back on the early 60’s:

(Sensorama was) an immersive 3-D virtual reality motorbike ride, in a form factor resembling an arcade game. Heilig saw Sensorama as the future of cinema, an immersive experience, complete with nine different fans to simulate the wind blowing on the user’s face, vibrating seat (to simulate driving over cobblestones), and the aromas of jasmine and hibiscus as the driver passed a flower garden, or the smell of baking pizza as one passed by an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn. (Rheingold, 1991) It never received the funding necessary to scale up to commercial production, and quietly disappeared, although Heilig persisted, patenting improvements over the next decade.


Morton Heilig’s Sensorama