An impressive series of Virtual reality helmet drawings found in the US patents:

Virtual reality interactivity system and method by Justin R. Romo (1991):

Helmet for providing virtual reality environments by Richard Holmes (1993)

Optical system for virtual reality helmet by Ken Hunter (1994):

Virtual reality visual display helmet by Bruce R. Bassett et al. (1996):

Helmet mounting device and system by Andrew M. Ogden (1996):

Virtual reality exercise machine and computer controlled video system by Robert Jarvik (1996)

Virtual reality system with an optical position-sensing facility by Ulrich Sieben (1998):

Multiple viewer headset display apparatus and method with second person icon Michael DeLuca et al (2002):

Visual displaying device for virtual reality with a built-in biofeedback sensor by Sun-II Kim et al (2002):

Virtual reality helmet by Travis Tadysak (2002):

System for combining virtual and real-time environments by Edward N. Bachelder et al (1997):

Why do I blog this? Working on a potential chapter in my book concerning recurring failures of digital technologies led me to investigate patents about VR. As usual when I dig Google Patent, I am fascinated by the graphics (drawing styles) and how much it reveals about design preconceptions. There's a lot to draw from these... especially about what the "inventors" (this term may look anachronistic but it's the one employed in the patent system) bring up in the graphics. Moreover, it's also great to see the different shapes that has been proposed (of course the patents are not just about shapes and design). These elements puts the current 3D glasses discussion in perspective.