Augmented Reality – The Past, The Present and The Future

Lab Reports, Timelines


Augmented Reality (AR) is an emerging form of experience in which the Real World (RW) is enhanced by computer-generated content tied to specific locations and/or activities. Surprisingly enough, augmented reality has been in the works for several decades before sprouting to what it is today. This timeline offers a history of AR, examines recent AR developments, and explores the future impact of AR on both society and how the UX designers attitude towards it.



Since the AR technology has a long history and wide application, I did research on the internet trying to narrow down the subject to a specific theme. Then I came across this article talking about the AR applications in use or under development through out history and today. It also point out the technical challenges that the  21st century UX professionals are facing. The article aroused my interests and gave me the inspiration to dig deeper into the history of the AR technology.

Collect Data

The data collected on the internet were mainly from Infographic: The History of Augmented Reality, and supplemented by THE HISTORY OF AUGMENTED REALITY. Gathering information from multiple sources help me to get a thorough understanding of the subject and proceed to the next step.

Visualize the Evolution

I used TimelineJS, an open-source tool, to create the storytelling timeline by organizing the content in the corresponding Google Sheets. I input and edited the data collected previously into categories of time, headline, description, media, and media caption. Then I published the spreadsheet to the web and enter the URL of the spreadsheet to TimelineJS which then generated the timeline automatically. Throughout the whole editing process, I kept refreshing the preview link to check if the results are satisfying.


The data organized in the spreadsheet resulted as a corresponding interactive timeline showcasing the informative texts and images in a very simple, flexible, and effective way.

Augmented Reality – The Past, The Present and The Future


The overall exercise is a very educational experiment, for both understanding the general history of AR technology and showcasing human’s need to record and visualize the milestone around them. The exercise made me understand the power of the timeline as a graphical way of displaying events in chronological order. It intensifies the sense of the sequence, therefore, makes the content more clear and memorable to the audience. In addition, I’ve learned that organizing data and put it in the right place is the essence of creating order to generate effective data display.

If I have more time to design with this exercise, I would try to make it more detailed and include events, such as the introduction of new technology, that led to advancements in the development of AR. I would also try to find reliable information about when different types of technology were introduced that would affect the invention of AR equipment. I also want to input more types of media to provide more diverse and complete information. In addition to that, I would like to learn more about how to use HTML to adjust the display format and make the storytelling more appealing.



  • TimelineJS: An open-source tool for creating media-rich and interactive storytelling timelines.
  • Google Sheets: A web-based software used for editing and organizing the content of the timeline.

Reference Articles