The latest Virtual Reality Gaming Systems and their precursor Invented by Jerry Lawson


As we honour black innovators of the century this month, we’d like to honour Gerald Anderson “Jerry” Lawson who brought interchangeable video gaming into our lives. Born in 1940, the engineer pioneered video gaming in the 70s with his invention of the Fairchild Channel F. This invention is the predecessor of all video gaming systems we have today such as; our Xbox, Atari, Nintendo and the PlayStation.
The Fairchild Channel F was the world’s first programmable ROM cartridge–based video game console, and the first console to use a microprocessor. With so many “Pong” clones on the market at that time, the Fairchild Channel F was a breath of fresh air.
Fast forward forty years, and the world on the wave of the 4th Industrial Revolution, we’ve got our advance gaming systems, which are so immersing thanks to virtual reality (VR). From basic graphics with just one of four background colours per line to three-dimensional backgrounds that are interacted with seemingly real ways using electronic equipment with sensors.
A good example of today’s virtual reality gaming system is the PlayStation 4 VR, where one can see hyper-real 3D environments come to life with a custom OLED screen. Unlike other VR systems, this one uses a PS4 instead of an expensive PC gaming rig, which makes it affordable for those new to virtual reality gaming seeking good quality.
Generally, interactive virtual reality headsets are guilty of completely immersing their users into the video game, by creating two images simultaneously and then sending them to a headset a few feet away. This is achieved by using the built-in camera with 3D depth sensors to track points of light on the headset and the lights on the controllers.
With the 360 degree vision, you’d be immersed in the views given by the game whichever way you turn. The smooth visuals and super low latency create great detail which would make you feel like you are living and breathing in another world. The 3D audio exposes your senses to new dimensions that guide you to track direction and distance of sounds from below, above, your left or right! The visual and audio immersions play with all your senses giving you a completely eventful gaming experience as you interact with online friends with the integrated microphone.
Gaming has certainly come a long way in the past forty years, and we have the late Jerry Lawson to thank with his innovative ways which contributed to the development of the gaming industry worth $99.6 billion today.
“The whole reason I did games was because people said, ‘You can’t do it.’ I’m one of the guys, if you tell me I can’t do something, I’ll turn around and do it,” said Lawson to San Jose Mercury News reporters once. The late engineer, gaming guru and inventor was someone one could draw inspiration from to be a great innovator making history like he did.
To those who are unfamiliar with Lawson’s work, we will be highlighting great moments of his career on our social media accounts for you to check out.