Translated from Latin, the term matrix means mother animal or womb. It appears as a foreign word in various disciplines and is defined differently in each case. In mathematics, a matrix is an arrangement of numbers in horizontal and vertical rows. In electronic data processing, the term stands for a system of related individual factors. In biology, on the other hand, matrix is a germ layer in which something new develops.

The creators of the Matrix Triology are not the first to have explored the concept of the matrix.

The Canadian writer William Gibson made virtual reality a central theme of his science fiction novel Neuromancer as early as 1994. In it, the matrix extends as a global network over the whole world and visualises data and information. It is also a simulated illusory world, which, however, is not represented photorealistically but by means of abstract geometric shapes. For business purposes, instead of a select few, specially trained hackers dive into the matrix here. By gaining access to the network, they steal important data or hack into other people's computer systems, for example.

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