Sensorama

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Sensorama, by Morton Heilig 1956

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In 1956, Morton Heilig began designing the first multisensory virtual experiences. Resembling one of today's arcade machines, the Sensorama combined projected film, audio, vibration, wind, and odors, all designed to make the user feel as if he were actually in the film rather than simply watching it. Patented in 1961, the Sensorama placed the viewer in a one person theater and, for a quarter, the viewer could experience one of five two-minute 3D full color films with ancillary sensations of motion, sound, wind in the face and smells. The five "experiences" included a motorcycle ride through New York, a bicycle ride, a ride on a dune buggy, a helicopter ride over Century city in 1960 and a dance by a belly dancer. Since real-time computer graphics were many years away, the entire experience was prerecorded, and played back for the user.

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