Virtual reality is a computer-generated, immersive reality that provides a user with an artificial sensory experience. Virtual reality can help replicate an environment through the use of specific hardware and software, these environments can be real, such as a shop floor, warehouse or combat zone, or completely imaginary like in video games. Virtual reality has applications in education, health, entertainment, sports, science, telecommunications, military and film, and it is for that very reason the virtual reality industry is growing at such a fast pace. According to Statista, revenues from virtual reality products and software are expected to spike from just $90 million in 2014 to $5.2 billion in 2018:

Onalytica - Virtual Reality Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Revenue Forecast by Statista

VR technology has evolved dramatically in recent years, companies like Samsung, Sony, Google and Oculus and HTC are now all names associated with VR for gaming, social and mobile platforms. As with most new technology the devices are still quite expensive, so in order to give them mass appeal they would need to become more affordable. In the coming months we will see how the new tech fares with public opinion.

WHAT ARE THE EXPERTS SAYING?

We reached out to some of the top 20 influencers to ask them for their views on Virtual Reality. We spoke to Daniel Corey (#2), Rob Crasco (#5), Sanem Avcil (#10), Eva Hoerth (#11), Bob O’Donnell (#14) and Brennan Spiegel (#15). Be sure to follow them to stay up to date on the best content and resources on Virtual Reality.


Onalytica - Virtual Reality Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Daniel CoreyDaniel Corey – Author of MORIARTY & RED CITY for , owner at DangerKatt

“My company, DangerKatt, focuses primarily on creating graphic novels and developing their transmedia potential.  Virtual Reality is opening up an entirely fresh avenue of ideation, where we can create storyworlds in traditional media and then use VR to immerse ourselves in those worlds.  Whether you’re playing a VR game based on one of our books, or actually walking through the pages of a storytelling experience, VR is giving us revolutionary and unique ways to showcase and expand our properties.”


Onalytica - Virtual Reality Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Roblem VRRob Crasco AKA “RoblemVR” Co-Owner/Content Developer at Cyber Adept

“Virtual reality is going to change the way that we experience the world. Don’t think of it in terms of applications or games but in terms of experiences. You are going to have relationships with people that you have only ever met in VR. You will be able to relive captured experiences, like your wedding or your child’s birthday as if you were there again. You will experience real destinations around the world, from the past, or ones that are pure fantasy. I’ve laughed at live standup comedy and ran across the face of Mars with groups of people from around the world, without actually leaving my home. These experiences and others I have had in VR are as important and “real” as any other memory. We are just at the beginning of the experiential age and it’s going to be amazing.”


Onalytica - Virtual Reality Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Sanem AvcilSanem Avcil – Founder at Founder Politehelp
“Jaw dragging experiences will soon be coming in virtual reality. Virtual reality suits will allow you to basically walk around in the game world and the real world. There will be suits that enable you to feel the environment with haptic technology. These suits will be comfortable garments consisting of a jacket, pants, gloves, and boots. You will feel your senses in the these environments. Gamers will be thin and muscular in the near future.” 


Onalytica - Virtual Reality Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Eva HoerthEva Hoerth – Virtual Reality Design Researcher | Community Builder at Ratlab

“We are riding the wave of a new medium–that doesn’t happen very often! Every day we witness the transformation of “VRgins” to VR enthusiasts and creators, and that’s pretty damn incredible. As for the future of VR, who knows what it holds! There are so many possibilities that have yet to be explored. I wouldn’t say that VR is going to replace existing platforms, but will rather strengthen industries such as health and education that can greatly benefit from the embodied experiences that VR provides. It’s not hard to get excited about VR hardware, but the tech is going to change very quickly. So rather than trying to adapt a design to a particular type of headset, it’s more valuable to think experience first and stop to ask ourselves why we are choosing to build for VR versus other platforms? Alongside that, in order to generate a diversity of VR content, we need diverse content creators. Anyone from any gender, background, or level of expertise needs to be welcomed. I am working to bring more women into the VR/AR space and there’s already been an incredible amount of support for this initiative. The resurgence of VR is generating a ton of excitement among people from all sorts of backgrounds, and I see this as a great moment in time to embed diversity into this industry!”


Onalytica - Virtual Reality Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Bob O'DonnellBob O’Donnell –  President and Chief Analyst at TECHnalysis Research

“Virtual reality and augmented reality are bringing a much needed boost in excitement back to the devices and key semiconductor markets. The opportunities it enables now and, more importantly, the path towards which it is headed offers new opportunities and new experiences for consumers all over the world. There are still some tough hurdles to overcome, but it’s the kind of technology that creates a level of enthusiasm that we haven’t seen in some time.”


Onalytica - Virtual Reality Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Brennan Spiegel, MDBrennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS – Director, Health Services Research at Cedars-Sinai Health System

“Virtual reality is like dreaming with your eyes open. As a healthcare provider, I view VR as a compelling technology that opens our imagination to a new class of therapeutic interventions. At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, we have seen first hand how VR can meaningfully reduce pain scores without any medication or drugs.  We’ve seen patients “escape” the four walls of their hospital room which, to some, can feel more like a bio-psycho-social jail cell than a place of healing. VR can temporarily transform the hospital into fantastical and healing environments. I’ve watched as patients and their families cry tears of joy during the VR experience.  Yet, there is still tremendous work ahead. Not all of our patients want to use VR, and others need highly tailored experiences that support rather than threaten their sense of self at a vulnerable time.  Our research team is actively working to solve these problems and bring VR to patients who need it the most.” 


TOPIC ANALYSIS

We were interested in seeing which topics were most popular among the top virtual reality influencers, so we analysed their tweets and blogs from 1st January – 11th May 2016 and counted mentions of various topics associated with virtual reality which we then used to create a topic share of voice chart:

Onalytica - Virtual Reality 2016 Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Top 10 Topic Share of Voice

It’s interesting to note that the most popular topic among the virtual reality influencers was Oculus Rift with a 22% share of voice, proving that Oculus is leading the discussion and driving the most conversations among the top influencers. Augmented Reality was the 2nd most popular debate driver, followed by mentions of HTC Vive and Samsung Gear VR which both received a significant 12% and 9% share of voice respectively. Other frequently mentioned topics among the top influencers included 3D, Gaming, Android, Camera and Headset which all received a similar share of voice (ranging from 5-7%), followed by mentions of Playstation and Hololens with 4%. Google Cardboard came in at 2% while Xbox received 2% share share of voice among the top virtual reality influencers and brands.


MAPPING THE COMMUNITY

We were very interested in seeing which virtual reality professionals and brands were leading the online discussion, so we analysed  797K+  tweets from March 8th – April 7th 2016 mentioning the keywords: #VR OR “Virtual Reality” OR virtualreality. We then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter. What we discovered was a very engaged community, with much discussion between individuals and brands. Below you can see a network map of the online conversation with the number 1 brand Oculus at the centre. This map was created with our Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM). Be sure to click on the map to enjoy the full size network diagram in greater detail.

 Onalytica - Virtual Reality 2016 Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Network Map Oculus

Below you can see another network map created with our Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM) showing the #2 brand HTC Vive the centre, and the conversations to and from the different influencers in their field. If you are interested in learning more about identifying, managing and engaging with influencers click here to get in touch!

Onalytica - Virtual Reality 2016 Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Network Map Oculus - Network Map HTC Vive

 

TOP 100 INDIVIDUALS

We looked at all the individuals engaging on Twitter to bring you a list of the top influencers in virtual reality. This list is a rich mix of tech journalists, developers, enthusiasts, authors, keynote speakers and also interestingly some digital health influencers. Below is the top 50, if you want to see who ranks from 50-100 be sure to download the full report by clicking the download button below.

Download The Full Report

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Rank Twitter Handle Name Company Influencer Score
1 @RickKing16 Rick King Consultant 100
2 @DangerKatt Daniel Corey DangerKatt 39.38
3 @PalmerLuckey Palmer Luckey Oculus 27.93
4 @mano1creative Manuel Clément Google 26.36
5 @RoblemVR Roblem VR Cyber Adept 20.5
6 @OMGitsfirefoxx OMGitsfirefoxx Freelance Vlogger 18.45
7 @Roy_techhwood Roy Taylor AMD 16.49
8 @Lucas_Matney Lucas Matney TechCrunch 15.21
9 @tipatat tipatat@GDC The VR Fund 13.1
10 @Sanemavcil Sanem Avcil PoliteHelp 13.09
11 @downtohoerth Eva Hoerth Ratlab 12.57
12 @wrobel221 Michał VRóblewski Setapp 11.97
13 @bobodtech Bob O’Donnell TECHnalysis 10.78
14 @BrennanSpiegel Brennan Spiegel, MD Cedars-Sinai 10.25
15 @JoachimHolmer Joachim Holmér Neat Corporation 10.04
16 @TheMalia Malia Probst The Real Virtual Show 9.4
17 @ID_AA_Carmack John Carmack Oculus 8.49
18 @JoshRaabPhoto Josh Raab Time 8.31
19 @BenKuchera Ben Kuchera Polygon 7.41
20 @HilmarVeigar Hilmar Veigar CCP Games 7.34
21 @zeeohmara Xiomara Blanco CNET 7.14
22 @jenndefer Jenn Duong 1215creative 6.62
23 @SusanWojcicki Susan Wojcicki YouTube 6.53
24 @killyourfm Virtual Jason Forbes, UploadVR 6.52
25 @JessConditt Jessica L. Conditt Engadget 6.48
26 @tomemrich Tom Emrich tomemrich.com 6.14
27 @alexbdavies Alex Davies Tom’s Hardware 6.08
28 @pug Ef Rodriguez HTC 6.04
29 @bigpotplant Epic VR Channel Epic VR Channel 6.01
30 @activrightbrain Dean Johnson Brandwidth 5.78
31 @shen Shen Ye HTC 5.55
32 @rachelmetz Rachel Metz MIT Technology Review 5.47
33 @jtoeman Jeremy Toeman CNET 5.39
34 @deantak Dean Takahashi GamesBeat 5.12
35 @jetscott Scott Stein CNET 4.7
36 @AlexJamesFitz Alex Fitzpatrick Time 4.69
37 @kentbye KentBye Voices of VR Voices of VR Podcast 4.67
38 @GTechBobby Bobby Lombardi G-Technology 4.63
39 @ShafiAhmed5 Shafi Ahmed Medical Realities 4.57
40 @StarFire2258 Sean Hollister CNET 4.51
41 @jamesbrunk James Brunk Vectorform 4.51
42 @MargaretWallace Margaret Wallace ♕ Playmatics 4.5
43 @jonwiley Jon Wiley Google 4.5
44 @JenWilliamsEdu Jennifer Williams Saint Leo University 4.37
45 @joeludwig Joe Ludwig Valve 4.07
46 @MikeWehner Myke The Daily Dot 3.96
47 @GreeterDan Daniel Terdiman Fast Company 3.96
48 @hthth Hrafn Thórisson Aldin Dynamics 3.86
49 @kertgartner Kert Gartner kertgartner.com 3.57
50 @AntonHand Anton Hand RUST 3.47

 

TOP 100 BRANDS

In the top 100 brands we can find a great selection of big VR vendors such as Oculus and HTCVive, as well as some cool new startups, tech publications and industry resources. It’s interesting to note the high amount of gaming blogs and brands that appear on the list illustrating the excitement for VR in the gaming sector. Be sure to download the full analysis for free to get an idea of who are most influential virtual reality brands.

Download The Full Report

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Rank Twitter Handle Name Influencer Score
1 @oculus Oculus 96.19
2 @htcvive HTC Vive 63.75
3 @TechCrunch TechCrunch 52.54
4 @TIME TIME.com 43.92
5 @nvidia NVIDIA 41.77
6 @GoogleUK Google UK 39.81
7 @UploadVR Upload 39.32
8 @verge The Verge 35.52
9 @EVEValkyrie EVE: Valkyrie 34.1
10 @runjewels Run The Jewels 30.14
11 @Recode Re/code 28.17
12 @VRFocus VRFocus 28.06
13 @VentureBeat VentureBeat 22.62
14 @engadget Engadget 22.36
15 @REWINDco REWIND 21.54
16 @unity3d Unity Technologies 19.73
17 @SamsungMobileUS Samsung Mobile US 18.67
18 @AldinDynamics Aldin Dynamics 18.49
19 @Inc Inc. 17.88
20 @thetestpit The Test Pit 16.98
21 @AltspaceVR AltspaceVR 16.39
22 @Polygon Polygon 16.05
23 @projectcarsgame Project CARS 15.99
24 @Coatsink Coatsink Software 15.62
25 @OwlchemyLabs Owlchemy Labs 14.56
26 @NVIDIAGeForce NVIDIA GeForce 14.46
27 @htc HTC 13.88
28 @esa ESA 13.18
29 @CloudheadGames Cloudhead Games 12.39
30 @CNET CNET 12.38
31 @campfireunion The Campfire Union 12.31
32 @VRScout VRScout 11.74
33 @Techland Techland 11.47
34 @ARVRNews AR/VR News 11.12
35 @google Google 11.08
36 @knightfdn Knight Foundation 10.98
37 @LiveScience Live Science 10.86
38 @googlecardboard Google Cardboard 10.85
39 @RtoVR Road to VR 10.66
40 @AMD AMD 10.53
41 @ViewMaster View-Master 10.41
42 @Dell Dell 10.33
43 @metaglasses Meta 10.28
44 @DigitalTrends Digital Trends 10.16
45 @TimelooperApp Timelooper 9.1
46 @blippar Blippar 8.69
47 @PlayStationUK PlayStation UK 8.03
48 @slashgear SlashGear 7.76
49 @Sony Sony 7.76
50 @LeapMotion LeapMotion 7.62

 

At Onalytica we love building these lists and want to give back to our loyal readers as much as we can. If you’re interested in other topics (such as Machine to Machine, Wearable TechInternet of Things) be sure to have a gander on our blog or why not propose some topics to us on twitter? We also build some very cool software to manage all of these influencers. Get a free demo today by clicking the button below!

REQUEST A FREE DEMO

Disclaimer: As ever with these lists, it must be stressed that the ranking is by no means a definitive measurement of influence, as there is no such thing. The brands and individuals listed are undoubtedly influential when it comes to driving discussion in the Virtual Reality debate.

The PageRank based methodology we use to extract influencers on a particular topic takes into account the number and quality of contextual references that a user receives. These calculations are independent of a user’s number of followers, but we do filter our lists based on how much a user is engaged in the conversation and the influence they drive through their networks.

Vector Graphics from: Vecteezy

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