The future confuses and amazes us, but quite often we get it wrong when we think that the cool designs that are currently shaping it are incredibly new and innovative.
Get the Google do-it-yourself cardboard VR visor. This cheap cardboard holder that can turn a smartphone into a 3D viewing device can be considered as a clever little thing, being compact, lightweight and, well, inexpensive. The main idea behind it is that it should "democratise" mobile virtual reality, making it more available to the masses.
Yet could we call such visors a ground-breaking idea? Not exactly. In the mid-to-late 1800s, it became popular looking at images (printed on paper cards or on glass) through a wooden visor - the stereoscope - that allowed to see a picture in three-dimensional style.
The visor in this picture is from a display about uniforms and accessories from World War I (currently on at the Senigallia Rocca Roveresca Fortress in Italy) and was employed to watch pictures taken by an Italian officer during the Italian invasion of Libya in 1911.
A kind of primitive VR visor, the orginal stereoscope proves that we may be living with ground-breaking technology, but the best designs are still coming to us from the past. So, there's a lesson here to be learnt for all the creative minds and designers out there - know your past to foresee the future.
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