The Enhanced Resolution Imager and Spectrograph (ERIS) is the new Adaptive Optics based instrument for ESO's VLT aiming at replacing NACO and SINFONI to form a single compact facility with AO fed imaging and integral field unit spectroscopic scientific channels. ERIS completes the instrument suite at the VLT adaptive telescope. In particular it is equipped with a versatile AO system that delivers up to 95% Strehl correction in K band for science observations up to 5 micron It comprises high order NGS and LGS correction enabling the observation from exoplanets to distant galaxies with a large sky coverage thanks to the coupling of the LGS WFS with the high sensitivity of its visible WFS and the capability to observe in dust embedded environment thanks to its IR low order WFS. ERIS will be installed at the Cassegrain focus of the VLT unit hosting the Adaptive Optics Facility (AOF). The wavefront correction is provided by the AOF deformable secondary mirror while the Laser Guide Star is provided by one of the four launch units of the 4 Laser Guide Star Facility for the AOF. The overall layout of the ERIS AO system is extremely compact and highly optimized: the SPIFFI spectrograph is fed directly by the Cassegrain focus and both the NIX's (IR imager) and SPIFFI's entrance windows work as visible/infrared dichroics. In this paper we describe the concept of the ERIS AO system in detail, starting from the requirements and going through the estimated performance, the opto-mechanical design and the Real-Time Computer design.