One way to look at the history of computer graphics is to look at eras, giving each era a name. For example, the middle 50’s to the early 60’s was the “beginnings” era. The early 60’s to the late 60’s was the “gee whiz, look what aerospace and automotive is doing” era. The late 60’s to the early 70’s was the “let’s form a new graphics company” era. And now, the middle to end of the 70’s is the “everybody into the pool” era.–Carl Machover, “A Brief, Personal History of Computer Graphics,” Computer, November 1978.
On the basis of my experience, I posit that computer graphics advances driven by product development matured in the late 1980s and that advances driven by arts and entertainment matured in the early 2000s. The graphics industry is at an innovation plateau and is ready for the next wave of innovation. This third wave won’t be driven in response to a single industry, as the innovation over the past 60 years has been. Rather, innovative researchers will respond to three drivers: the visual representations necessary to handle emerging application disciplines, display and interaction device advances, and graphics systems design and implementation.–David J. Kasi, “The Third Wave in Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques,” IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, July/August 2011.