Virtual Reality is an interactive experience in a computer-generated world. Through computer technology, the user can experience and interact with the world. Most often this is done using a pair of VR goggles. Groth & Co has assisted the Swedish innovation company Tobii with patent work relating to Virtual Reality within Eye Tracking.

Most of us will never travel to the moon, stand on stage with the Rolling Stones or fly a fighter plane. But with Virtual Reality, many of us can at least simulate such experiences. Virtual Reality (VR) is technology that creates a credible and interactive computerised world in 3D that the user can experience as real. This is usually done using VR goggles, but also sometimes other equipment such as gloves or other control instruments.

Morton Heilig’s Sensorama

Although Virtual Reality is perceived as a modern technology, it has a long history. Depending on the definition, the story starts as far back as 1838 when Charles Wheatstone invented the first stereoscope, or 1929 when Edward Link invented the first flight simulator. A more modern milestone was 1956 when filmmaker Morton Heilig invented the Sensorama – a cinema-like cabinet with speakers, 3D screens, fans, odours and a vibrating chair. In the Sensorama, one person at a time could experience riding a motorcycle or flying a helicopter.

In the 1980s, the concept of Virtual Reality became widely known as Jaron Lanier founded the company VPL Research and began developing equipment like goggles and gloves for VR. Technological development has been constant and in the 1990s, VR goggles started to become more common among consumers. The recent decades of VR development, coupled with the development of software and computer technology in the 21st century, has made VR a fast-growing technology area in the 2010s.

In 2017 Groth & Co assisted the Swedish innovation company Tobii with patent work connected to VR. Tobii is the world leader in Eye Tracking; eye control technology. Applying Tobii’s technology to VR enables new forms of interactions in the virtual world. Tobii has VR applications within computer games and entertainment, productivity and behavioural analysis.

Barack Obama testing VR

Today, the prevalence of VR is still most common in entertainment. Here the technology can be found in everything from computer games and films to concerts and rollercoasters. But also in education, the use of VR is widespread. Here people can practice carrying out complicated operations, flying aeroplanes or preparing to be astronauts for a mission in space. VR is a growing technology, but today there are already applications in robotics, marketing, psychology, healthcare, IT and more.

Despite rapid growth and a wide range of applications, many experts believe that the VR industry is still in its infancy. The same experts also believe that the technology could change our lives significantly, just like computers and smartphones have previously done. As early as 2020, the VR market is expected to have a turnover of €70 billion. At the same time, global sales of VR goggles are expected to reach nearly 100 million units in 2021.