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How Millennials View Virtual Reality

The problem with virtual reality right now is that the mainstream population does not know much about what’s going on. Let’s look at the current state of this exciting new technology.

Virtual reality can be divided into two distinct categories: virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). VR is technology that creates a completely separate virtual world: for example, you’re sitting on your couch but feel like you’re walking on a beach.

AR is technology that overlays digital images on the real world. For example, a tech company recently caused a school gym full of kids to think there was a whale swimming around the basketball court.

Most people have a limited understanding of what options are out there for VR and AR. The major players in the headset industry are Oculus, Playstation VR, Samsung VR, Google Cardboard, Microsoft Hololens and the HTC Vive. However, few people have actually used one of these headsets.

Lastly, there is as yet no major platform for VR content. The equivalent to Spotify and Pandora in the music sphere and YouTube and Vimeo in the online video sphere has yet to emerge.

All of these factors taken together indicate that the VR and AR industries are much too young and underdeveloped for Millennials to even compose a coherent thought about them.

However, Millennials are always embracing trends, are up-to-date with technology, and are eager to believe in change and progress. Because of this forward-thinking outlook, most Millennials will tell you positive things about virtual reality.

As a populace, Millennials do recognize just how game-changing VR is for society and that it will impact many facets of life and industries of the modern world.

Millennials want to believe in moonshots. As the iconic Millennial phrase goes, “I’m doing big things with my life!” Millennials want to buy into large ambition and lofty goals since they personally want to achieve lofty things with their lives.

Moonshot is the colloquial term in Silicon Valley that refers to ambitious projects that are as lofty and idealistic as trying to land on the moon.

Moonshots have lower chances of success due to the risk and difficulty involved, but pay out big time if they’re successful.

As Millennials as a whole are risk prone, this level of high risk–high reward, in conjunction with extreme idealism, matches their persona perfectly.

While VR and AR are here and will soon likely become intertwined with aspects of society, there is still much more development that needs to take place.

Companies aiming to garner backing from Millennials need to introduce an aura of idealism into their vision and mission statement.

As figures such as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are demonstrating in the political arena, radical thought is in vogue.

Written by George Beall

George Beall is a student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has a deep admiration for true innovation and has been involved in multiple in technology startups. He is currently on the founding team of Everipedia and an angel investor in Waves Inc. In his spare time he enjoys horseback riding, discovering upcoming music, and binge watching Netflix.

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