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"Science and science fiction, how do you even distinguish the two?"
- Jerry Pournelle

Virtual Reality Construct  
  A means of projecting a virtual reality experience without special headsets.  

Science fiction has presented many kinds of virtual reality technovelgy over the years; here is a very early (and perhaps the first) description of a completely immersive virtual environment.

At once the cluttered children's room disappeared and they were surrounded by a wall of hot swirling gray and incandescent orange. It cleared...

And at once Forrester and the two children were seated in the bridge of a spaceship. The toys were gone, the furnishings replaced by bright metal instruments and flickering, whistling gauges. And outside crystal panels surged the devastating chromosphere of a sun.

Forrester shrank back instinctively from the heat before he realized that there was none. It was illusion. But it was perfect.

"By God!" he cried admiringly. "How was that done?"

...The calm voice of the joymaker replied at once.

"The phenomenon you are currently inspecting, Man Forrester, is a photic projection on a vibratory curtain. An interference effect produces a virtual image on the surface of an optical sphere with the nexus of yourself and your companions as its geometric center..."

From The Age of The Pussyfoot, by Frederik Pohl.
Published by Ballantine in 1966
Additional resources -

In reading this, I'm strongly reminded of a real-world technology: the Heliodisplay, a device that projects an image on what appears to be a fine mist. I saw this at the Wired magazine NextFest exhibition in Chicago, and it really works.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Age of The Pussyfoot
  More Ideas and Technology by Frederik Pohl
  Tech news articles related to The Age of The Pussyfoot
  Tech news articles related to works by Frederik Pohl

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