Telesphere Mask
Morton Heilig

“Even before the Sensorama, however, Heilig had worked on another patent that would have also proved influential on future virtual reality designers, had they heard of it: the Telesphere mask, awarded a patent in 1960 under the name, “Stereoscopic-Television Apparatus For Individual Use.”The Telesphere mask was a sort of head-mounted version of the Sensorama that would allow for wrap-around views, stereo sound, and air currents that could blow at different velocities or temperatures, and could carry smell (Heilig, 1957). The Telesphere was the first patented head-mounted apparatus designed to convey virtual views to the user, predating Ivan Sutherland’s influential “Head-Mounted Three-Dimensional Display,” nicknamed the “Sword of Damocles” by half a decade. The mask was built as a prototype, but Rheingold surmised in 1991 that, “If it had not been for the vicissitudes of research funding, Morton Heilig, rather than Ivan Sutherland, might be considered the founder of VR."

Payatagool, Chris. "Theory and Research in HCI: Morton Heilig, Pioneer in Virtual Reality Research." Telepresence Options. September 19, 2008.