It might feel like Virtual Reality has been a part of our vocabulary forever, but the term didn’t really emerge until 1987. That’s when writer and computer scientist Jaron Lanier popularized the phrase, giving birth to an industry that wasn’t quite ready for prime time, but stirred imaginations everywhere.
Today, excitement over VR is booming, as some promising technologies get closer to retail release. It was a long road to get to this point, though, and success is still far from a guarantee. Here are a few of the significant milestones virtual reality has already faced in its relatively short life.