Since 2015, Virtual Reality has been on the uprise. In 2016 it’s one of the hottest trends. And to add some gasoline to the fire, there is a cohort of tech and non-tech celebrities that promoting AR/VR. Here are just a few of them.
Tim is one on of the biggest influencers in the digital world. His podcast The Time Ferris Show has more than 85 million listeners to this day. He is sometimes introduced as the “Oprah of Audio”. There’s even a marketing term called “The Tim Ferriss Effect”.
TFE means that if a product is mentioned on one of his podcast episodes, it will receive a major attention. When Tim mentioned a particular brand of sardines in one of his episodes, it was soon sold out in most Whole Food stores. Or check what happened with Mizzen + Main when they signed up to become a sponsor for his podcast.
What has that to do with VR? Well in September 2015, Tim tweeted this:
He deliberately chose a side and became a VR Evangelist. Even though he has not had many guests who were connected with VR industry with the exception of the Walter O’Brien (AKA) “Scorpion”, however, if you’d like to have one person in your team – Tim Ferriss would be the one.
Casey has risen to YouTube glory with daily vlogs from his interesting life. Even to this day, he is spewing out interesting content on daily basis. At the time of writing his YouTube channel has more than 4 million subscribers and his top videos receive more than 15 million views. That’s insane!
Samsung was a lead sponsor of the Academy Awards of the year 2016 and took the opportunity and put the Gear360 into Casey’s hands. And that was exactly at the right moment because Casey Neistat uses the Samsung Dual Lens cam for The Oscar event. The video received 2 million views and showed a wide audience how 360˚ video looks like.
If there would be one person who is passionate about Virtual Reality storytelling opportunities, that person would be Kevin Spacey. This famous actor and theatre director has invested time, money and even become an advisor at a VR startup.
As someone who is a master storyteller himself, Kevin Spacey is a perfect ambassador of the Virtual Reality buzz – or as how The Verge tags him, “a virtual reality hypebeast”.
It seems like everything Kevin Spacey touches turns into a masterpiece. He alone is a master storyteller and if a new medium such as Virtual Reality would want someone in their corner, Kevin Spacey is the perfect candidate.
If his talk on Davos 2016 can’t persuade you to start thinking about many potentials AR and VR is bringing to the table nothing will. Spacey truly believes it will not just change the industry, but make us better people as well.
One will think that he’s pointing at the entertainment industry and there’s a logical first assumption. Los Angeles and San Francisco are hot-beds of the industry, following closely by Seattle with the gaming portion. But the actor addresses other industries which let you think about it on a larger scale.
“I truly believe that VR will be a quantum leap forward for storytellers, just as the motion picture was a century ago.”
Education, journalism, history and tourism are exciting areas VR has already penetrated and will disrupt the current status quo. Imagine standing side by side with Hannibal during the Punic Wars, studying the depths of the ocean from your classroom chair and truly experience the hardships of the Jordan refugees.
“Nothing will give a person more understanding than virtually living in a world that is not his/her own.”
“I have been diving into the strange world of virtual reality – the technology I have fallen in love with. Not just because of the incredible wild spectrum of experience that it offers… but because of the philosophical implications of reality“
This is how Duncan Trussell from the DTFH podcast. Duncan has had a following on his podcast for a number of years. Among his guest were also legendary Tim Ferriss. On his talk, he often dives in deep conversation with elaborate language on a diverse range of topics. Among the latest Duncan addiction is VR. Ever since he got himself an HTC Vive, he has become a VR believer. Once he introduced it to his fellow podcast mega star Joe Rogan, the snowball has started rolling down the hill.
Podcast superstar Joe Rogan and more niche and magical friend Duncan Trussell have drunk the cool aid and become big advocates for Virtual Reality.
Listen to the Episode 205 of DTFH in entirety here: www.duncantrussell.com/episodes/2016/8/11/joe-rogan. Just do yourself a favour and skip the magic mushroom part Joe Rogan with more than 2 million followers on Twitter, around 750k subscribers on YouTube and famous 3-hour long podcast episodes that reach 11 million monthly downloads (January 2015 stat) has soon become an HTC owner himself and start spending hours shooting virtual arrows in the virtual reality.
And he’s not keeping his mouth shut about it. Immediately he talked about VR with his standup comedy buddies during his famous Fight Companion episode with Brendan Schaub, Bryan Callen, and Eddie Bravo.
“Yesterday it changed my <bleep> world. DT introduced me to the world of Virtual Reality Goggles”
While the Australian actress never publicly supported Virtual Reality, she did offer her face to Etihad Airways. Etihad Airways launched a campaign for their luxury plane and premium service on A380. I’ve written before why flight industry is one of the best potential industries to incorporate VR entertainment on long flights (flight companies, email me).
It was quite a nice surprise to see a distinguished celebrity as one of the campaign drivers for a prestigious air company.
Etihad took advantage of YouTube’s 360° video capabilities to embed a virtual reality experience directly into the web or mobile-based player. Whether Nicole Kidman was a good choice for the VR campaign is open for discussion, however, it is a bold step by Etihad Airways to create something new in the marketing world.
If nothing else, Nicole Kidman is a part of the showcase of what an immerse 360˚ experience feels like. The video transfers you in the shoes of the passenger
Watch the full video, Reimagine here:
They were not the first airplane company that embraced VR. Australian air company Quantas partnered with Samsung a year before and tried to offer VR entertainment during the flight.
Even President Obama appeared in the news and VR circles recently. Earlier this summer, he and his family travelled to Yosemite National Park to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service. The professional studio Felix and Paul captured the whole experience with the collaboration of the National Geographic.
How much the President is involved in VR does not matter much, but be prepared to try new technologies and raise awareness of the “new” upcoming medium is a big thing.
AR/VR industry is gaining a lot of support and with the powerhouse influencers mentioned in this article, it will even increase in the future. Till what level it can rise, that’s the question everyone is asking – but one thing is sure. AR/VR has arrived and is here to stay.