World's First Consumer HMD
The World's First Consumer HMD: VictorMaxx Stuntmaster
One of our core goals at Future Vision Technologies was to bring VR technology to the masses. Our first success was the 1993 release of the VictorMaxx Stuntmaster HMD. The display's design and patented head tracking system was licensed from Future Vision Technolgies by VictorMaxx, Inc. Although we wished the execution could have been better, it was the first of it's kind mass-market immersive head mounted display.
For cost and reliability, it used a monocular display which was magnified by a lenticular lens. Yaw tracking was accomplished by a zero-lag mechanical system which clipped to the user's shirt. [See US Patents 5,323,174 and 5,353,042.] Reflecting the fact that we perfected the tracking by testing it against Wolfenstein 3D on the PC, it did a good job at "look and shoot." The Stuntmaster shipped with connectors for Sega and Nintendo game consoles, but resourceful hackers back engineered the PC mouse support we left in the firmware. Below are some photos of prototypes.
Alas, the Stuntmasters manufactured by VictorMaxx did not have the same quality as the prototypes we created. The manufactured units had faulty glue connecting the tracker sleeve to the potentiometer. Also, the headset was not properly balanced. As a result, it was a short lived fad product. There was, though, a long-lasting subculture of hackers out there using them for various garage VR experiments.