Top 10 Movies that Got Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Right
Updated: Jun 8
Looking for recommendations on what to corona-binge while you're staying indoors to avoid the virus? Here are some of our team’s picks for great movies that feature augmented reality and virtual reality in their stories and include great examples of use cases for AR/VR (by order of release):
1. Predator | 1987 | Action/Sci-fi | 1h 47m
Heat scanners and weapon systems as part of a helmet-mounted display (HMD)? Sounds like augmented reality to us! Similar HMDs are already in use in military training and operations.
2. They Live | 1988 | Sci-fi/Horror | 1h 37m
OBEY! Nearly 30 years ago, They Live introduced optical head-mounted display (OHMD) in the form of special sunglasses that show you the underlying messages being advertised to you (and aliens... lots of aliens).
Did you know the first virtual reality headset was created over 50 years ago?
That is correct! In 1968, Ivan Sutherland, an American computer scientist and internet pioneer, created the first VR head-mounted display system (compare that to the fact that personal computers only became feasible in 1971). The device was so massive and heavy that it had to be suspended from the ceiling. Its size and weight made it nearly impossible to scale, but its appearance crowned the name the “Sword of Damocles.” Scientists and engineers have been working to create new and better AR/VR headsets ever since. Think about how much progress has been made in the last 50 years and how much more will be done in the next 50 years!
3. Back to the Future Part II | 1989 | Comedy/Sci-fi | 1h 48m
Back to the Future was filled with futuristic tech! Those special glasses that the McFly family used at dinner? These are a version of the modern-day smart glasses all of us can wear!
4. Terminator 2: Judgement Day | 1991 | Action/Sci-fi | 2h 36m
He’s back! Another entry on the list with the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger. All Terminator models come with built-in AR scanners and display overlay features. Try not to get caught!
5. Minority Report | 2002 | Sci-fi/Thriller | 2h 26m
When this blockbuster came out it was praised for its innovative use of AR-based hand gesture recognition and finger tracking, which was heavily featured in the film’s advertising campaign. Steven Spielberg, the renowned filmmaker who directed the film, consulted experts to make sure the futuristic technology shown in the film is actually realistic. And indeed many of the technology has already been realized – from multi-touch interfaces, retina scanners, autonomous cars, and of course AR-based gesture recognition.
6. Iron Man | 2008 | Sci-fi/Action | 2h 6m
Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron man), one of Marvel’s most beloved superheroes, is constantly relying on augmented reality to build and refine his suit. From 3D holograms as part of the design process to AR helmet-mounted display, Iron Man demonstrates the power of AR.
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7. Avatar | 2009 | Sci-fi/Action | 2h 42m
Avatar, the up-until-recently highest grossing film of all times, was a real milestone in moviemaking history and employed many new filming techniques. James Cameron made Pandora, the Na’vi’s home, feel alive and interactive in new and exciting ways. The film is also full of AR uses for training, research, field visualization, navigation, and more.
8. Thor: The Dark World | 2013 | Adventure/Action | 1h 52m
The second installment of Thor’s trilogy depicts a common use case of augmented reality feature: body scanning. Check out how Thor’s asgardian healers harness AR as so many of our healthcare professionals do!
Looking for more inspiration for innovative uses of AR/VR? Check out the Inspiration page in our console. It contains links to great use cases of AR/VR and examples of incredible projects, some of which have been created with the help of echoAR. Want your project to be featured too? Let us know at inspire@echoAR.xyz
9. Captain America: Winter Soldier | 2014 | Action/Adventure | 2h 16m
Another Marvel movie that deserves a shout out on this list! Remember the world security council meeting conducted virtually using AR screens and holographic video? How about Nick Fury’s AR windshield head-up display that allowed him to take calls from Maria Hill, navigate through traffic and assess the vehicles systems, all while evading Hydra agents!
10. Spider-Man: Far From Home | 2019 | Action/Comedy | 2h 9m
We really saved the best for last! Spider-Man: Far From Home features some of the best uses of AR and VR thanks to Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio, a holographic-illusions specialist and supervillain (and Tony Stark’s and E.D.I.T.H glasses). Don’t believe your eyes while watching this one!
Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in our Slack channel.
echoAR (http://www.echoAR.xyz; Techstars ’19) is a cloud platform for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) that provides tools and server-side infrastructure to help developers & companies quickly build and deploy AR/VR apps and experiences.