Header Art by Rajat Kumar Gupta

We know, we know… We’ve been talking about AR a lot lately. But we just can’t help our excitement about this ever evolving technology. It is making huge waves not just our everyday technological lives, but in our artistic and creative lives as well.
But what is AR and where did it come from? We decided to take a little trip back in time to the origins of Augmented Reality and were surprised at what we found.


Augmented Reality technology is developed at Harvard by computer scientist Ivan Sutherland (coined “father of computer graphics”) who created an AR head-mounted display system. It was called “The Sword of Damocles”

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The first dedicated ‘Augmented Reality’ lab is opened by computer researcher and artist at the University of Connecticut. It’s called Videoplace and is dedicated entirely to ‘artificial reality’.


The term ‘Augmented Reality’ is first coined by Boeing researcher, Tom Caudell.

‘Virtual Fixtures’ is one of the first fully functional augmented reality systems designed to be tools for training US Air Force pilots and other departments of the military. It was created by Louis Rosenberg at USAF Armstrong's Research Lab.



The first recorded appearance of Augmented Reality in the arts is on the stage! Julie Martin creates the production “Dancing in Cyberspace” in which acrobats on the physical stage dance among virtually created objects.

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Sportsvision uses augmented reality to project a virtual 1st & Ten line aka the yellow yard marker and the first down marker during an NFL game! Fun Fact: This is still used in live sports today! (Albeit a little more sophisticated now)

NASA creates a system for flight tests for the NASA X-38 that uses augmented reality to overlay map data on the pilot’s screen. 

Hirokazu Kato develops an open-source software library called the ARToolKit. The library uses video tracking to overlay graphics in the real world, in real time. ARToolKit is still widely used today!



Esquire Magazine uses augmented reality in their print magazines- asking readers to scan the cover, featuring Robert Downey Jr., to see the image come to life!


Volkswagon debuts the MARTA app (Mobile Augmented Reality Technical Assistance) which is used alongside the service manual to give step-by-step instructions to technicians. They are able to see how repairs should look before starting their work. This is, without exaggeration, ground breaking!

Google launches the Google Glass device that immerses the everyday consumers in an augmented reality experience. Users are able to communicate using natural processing commands to access apps such as Google Maps, Gmail, and more.



Augmented reality investments reach $700 million. 

Augmented reality investments reach $1.1 billion (WOW!)

Microsoft launches the HoloLens, a piece of wearable augmented reality technology similar to the Google Glass device. The HoloLens is essentially a wearable computer, allowing users to scan their surroundings and create their own AR experiences.



IKEA releases their own AR app called IKEA Place, allowing users to preview home furniture and decor options before purchasing. This changes the retail industry pretty much forever, seeing adaptations in the near future by big brands such as Amazon. 

Can you believe that Augmented Reality technology is actually older than the modern personal computer? In just a few decades, the AR realm has taken unprecedented strides of progress. We’re not the only ones who are excited about this incredible technology—and we think you should be just as excited as us. We want to be at the forefront of the creative AR revolution and we’d like you to join us.