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How VR Got Off the Ground

1966

VR visionary Tom Furness begins creating helmet-mounted displays to help Air Force pilots better navigate complex fighter jet technologies.

1971

Tom helps create the first Visually Coupled Airborne Systems Simulator to give pilots a virtual view of system displays that won’t physically fit into limited cockpit space.

1986

Tom directs the Air Force’s Super Cockpit program, enabling data to be projected in real-time into a 3D virtual space—and allowing pilots to control aircraft with gestures, utterances and eye movements.

2015

Tom co-founds the Virtual World Society, extending VR’s application to the sciences, education and the arts.