VR = Virtual Reality
The term Virtual Reality is used to describe a 3-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person is immersed within the virtual world and is able to manipulate the computer generated environment, e.g. lift up a virtual coffe cup. With computer screens, tablets and smartphones we have a window through which we can look inside the amazing landscapes of virtual worlds.
How does this technology work?
VR through the ages
Virtual Reality has been around for a few decades; In 1968 Ivan Sutherland and his student Bob Sproull created what is widely considerer to be the first VR and AR Head Mounted Display system. The HMD was so heavy that it had to be mounted on the ceiling, besides the graphics comprising the virtual environment were simple wire-frame model rooms, therefore it lacked realism.
The term "Virtual Reality" was popularized in the 1980s by Jaron Lanier and some VR hardware entered the world market in the 1990s. This hardware was generally expensive and unwieldy, besides the screen resolution and rendering was not sufficient to provide a convincing virtual experience which resulted in the technology not taking off.
Only during the last few years VR started to become a "big thing". With new technology - e.g. Oculus Rift - providing an impressive and immersive user experience the great possibilities of virtual reality are finally explored.