Virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience created through the use of computer technology. By arousing the senses like vision, hearing, touch and smell, VR technology makes virtual environments appear lifelike. VR environments can be similar to the real world or totally different, which make them a popular component of video games, but VR isn’t just for gamers. It’s being incorporated into a swathe of fields across the globe including education, healthcare, the automotive industry, professional sports, and more. As VR technology becomes more widespread, VR influencers are picking up steam on social media platforms like Twitter. Here are a few of the Top VR influencers in the world right now.
Top VR Influencers
- John Carmack
- Ryan Wyatt
- Hugo Barra
- Jonathan Nafarrete
- Palmer Luckey
- Cathy Hackl
American computer programmer, engineer and video game developer John Carmack is one of the leading influencers in the VR field today. Co-founder and lead programmer of the video game company, id Software, he helped create games like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake and Commander Keen. Carmack is responsible for many innovations in 3D graphics, making him well-respected within the gaming community. In 2013, Carmack left id to work at Oculus, Facebook’s virtual reality subsidiary, as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), and in November of 2019, he stepped down from this position to focus on AI. While Carmack lends his tech genius to this field, he continues to be a consulting CTO at Oculus.
When tech heads want to know what’s going on in the field of VR, many check out Ryan Wyatt’s Twitter feed. Wyatt is an American gaming executive and former esports commentator who broadcasted under the name, Fwiz. Currently, he’s the head of gaming and VR at YouTube, a position which gives him lots of sway in the Twittersphere for gamers and VR fans. Ryan joined YouTube in 2014, and it has since become the most popular gaming content platform in the world. Because Wyatt helped push gaming into the mainstream, many consider him to be one of the world’s top thought leaders in the field.
Hugo Barra is a Brazilian computer scientist, entrepreneur and tech executive. For several years, he worked at Google taking on various roles in product management including a position as vice president of Google’s android division. After working at Google, he became vice president of Xiaomi, a Chinese electronics company, and these days, Barra is the Vice President of Virtual Reality at Facebook. With all of these hi-tech positions, it’s no wonder those in VR consider Hugo Barra a mover and shaker in the VR field and one of its most important influencers.
Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor of VR Scout, an immersive-media website focused on posting the latest VR news and videos. Prior to developing VR Scout, Nafarrette led digital content teams for campaigns for Nike, Honda, Toyota Sheraton and Sony PlayStation. Nafarrete is also a professional photographer, with his work featured in Forbes, the Daily Mail, the LA Times and BuzzFeed, as well as in national ad campaigns for T-Mobile and Ford. If that weren’t enough, Business Insider named Nafarrete one of the “most creative people in social media marketing” and one of the “top Instagram users that advertisers are dying to work with.”
To VR fans, Palmer Luckey is famous for being one of the co-founders of Oculus VR, the VR subsidiary of Facebook that Mark Zuckerberg purchased when Luckey was just 21 years old. He is also the designer of the company’s head-mounted VR display, Oculus Rift, a gadget that offers a fully immersive virtual experience. In 2016, Luckey ranked #22 on Forbes list of the richest entrepreneurs in America under 40 with a net worth of $730 million. In 2017, Luckey left Oculus and founded Anduril Industries, a company focusing on the development of autonomous drones and sensors for use in the military.
Cathy Hackl has many accomplishments under her belt. As a broadcaster, she was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2007 for her coverage of the immigration marches in Atlanta. Fast forward to 2017 when Hackl was selected to be a fellow at Oculus Launch Pad, a program dedicated to the training and support of promising VR creators. These days, Hackl works at Magic Leap, as part of the Enterprise Strategy team, and she’s been named on Linkedin as one of the top 10 voices in tech.
Are you looking for the latest information on virtual reality, or do you want to learn more about these fascinating influencers? Check out their Twitter feeds, blogs or other social media accounts. For help finding more tech whizzes like these, utilize this handy influencer discover tool.