Where it All Began


Doug Engelbart gives his “Mother of All Demos” at the ACM/IEEE Fall Joint Conference in San Francisco. Many of the technologies that he demonstrates have become commonplace in the intervening decades—the computer mouse, the graphical user interface, the word processor—but his vision of seamless collaboration has remained unfulfilled.

The same year as Engelbart’s demo, Alan Kay first articulates his concept for the Dynabook, an educational tablet computer. Children can download books and games on their Dynabooks, but they can also learn and play together. Electronic books with downloadable content have been a reality for years, but the communal learning experience that Kay envisioned has also remained elusive.


David Smith creates the first prototype of what will later become Croquet. The ICE System is the first 3D collaboration space, demonstrating live shared video and smart collaborative objects.


Alan Kay, David Reed, David Smith, and Andreas Raab form the Open Croquet Project, where they create the first replicated computation platform. Written in Squeak Smalltalk, this early version of the Croquet lacks many of the features of modern Croquet, but it shows that replicated computation is a viable solution to the challenges of collaboration first posed years earlier by Engelbart and Kay.


David Smith joins Lockheed Martin as Senior Fellow and develops the Virtual World Framework, a web-based version of the original Smalltalk Croquet.


David Smith forms Croquet Corporation with Vanessa Freudenberg, Aran Lunzer, Brian Upton, and Yoshiki Ohshima. Croquet is rewritten from the ground up in JavaScript as a web-based collaboration platform. The lessons of the previous two decades are incorporated in a new streamlined and simplified Croquet library that includes a built-in message passing system and a model-view architecture. The Croquet public reflector network is deployed worldwide, and Croquet releases Greenlight, the first collaborative workspace powered by the new Croquet Library.


Croquet is a software system for creating multiuser digital experiences on the web. It lets you build real time multiuser apps without writing a single line of server code, or deploying or managing any servers. Croquet consists of a JavaScript library that grants access to our global network of public reflectors.

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