The Sensorama Lab
The Sensorama Lab is a full-cycle virtual production studio and R&D laboratory focusing on AR/VR applications. It was established by MIT professor and inventor Mark Heilig in 1957. Heilig, along with other co-founders, developed his own motion picture camera. Heilig also created his own side-by-side dual film 35mm camera. The Sensorama Lab produced a series of short films for its users, some of which Heilig directed and shot himself.
In addition to the Simulator, the Sensorama also had a bucket seat for one viewer and a series of vents to create a realistic atmosphere. There was also a hooded canopy, ultraviolet light to disinfect the viewing surface, and audio and visual feedback. In addition to the simulators, the company also tried to pitch Sensorama as a showroom display to car companies. However, it was unsuccessful and Heilig lost financial backing for his idea.
The development of computer technology has accelerated the development of immersive virtual worlds. Computers now enable the creation of human-created experiences. Morton Helig was one of the first to take advantage of these technologies to create virtual experiences. He saw a need for interactive theaters that engage the five senses of audiences. In the 1970s, he patented the Sensorama device. The invention was soon followed by countless variations.