Lanier's name is often asscociated with Virtual Reality research. Indeed, he did coin the term Virtual Reality and in the early 1980s founded VPL Research, the first company to sell VR products.At the end of the eighties he lead the team that developed the first implementations of multi-person virtual worlds using head mounted displays, for both local and wide area networks, as well as the first avatars, or representations of users within such systems. While at VPL, he co-developed the first implementations of virtual reality applications in surgical simulation, vehicle interior prototyping, virtual sets for television production, and assorted other areas. He led the team that developed the first widely used software platform architecture for immersive virtual reality applications. Sun Microsystems acquired VPLs seminal portfolio of patents related to Virtual Reality and networked 3D graphics in 1999. Since then, he has collaborated broadly with researchers in machine vision, computational neuroscience, cell biology modeling, and other disciplines defining the border between human cognition and the rest of the world. One major recent investigation, into what he has dubbed Phenotropics, concerns rejecting traditional protocol-based approaches in favor of statistical and pattern-recognition techniques to bind software components together in order to improve large scale reliability. A non-technical introduction to this work is found in the chapter he contributed to the 2002 book The Next Fifty Year; Science in the Twenty First Century, edited by John Brockman.