All emerging movements have their champions of change who push us to explore solutions which otherwise might be too daunting. These individuals are visionaries – courageous and resolute in their believes. It is their determination that pushes the rest of us to explore change. Below, we wanted to highlight the 50 most groundbreaking influencers that are riding the first waves of the augmented and virtual reality revolution. We encourage the readers of this post to follow, engage with, and learn from them!
1. Anna Zhilyaeva
Anna is an artist who uses Google Tilt Brush to create magnificent virtual artwork. She is a perfect example of how VR can be used in the classroom for creativity.
2. Clay Bavor
Clay is the Vice President of Virtual and Augmented Reality Division at Google. He posts about recent news in the world of VR on his Twitter account, and also has his own blog.
3. Eva Hoerth
With the emergence of every new technology brings out the question of ethics, and that’s what Eva does. Eva is an advocate for psychology in emerging technology. She is also part of the WXR Venture Fund, a venture capital firm that supports women-led VR startups.
4. Ian Hamilton
Ian is a California-based journalist for UploadVR.com focusing on AR and VR. His twitter account is an independent source of information to learn about this immersive, emerging industry.
5. Amber Osborne
She’s the CMO of Doghead Simulations: a virtual reality software company specializing in meeting software and education. Her niche is in education, and she shares tonnes of content on how VR in the classroom will change the way students learn.
6. Ryan Ball
A former creative consultant at VRScout, Ryan Bell is a strong influencer in the VR community. He has a tonne of knowledge in that space and shares stories and opinions on his Twitter account. Bell is currently the media specialist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
7. Carl Flamingo
Carl is very much involved in the VR space and how it can help with education. He posts frequently about events and articles related to VR on his twitter account.
8. Michael Bodekaer
An innovator and entrepreneur in the field of VR. He has done TedTalks and also created a virtual lab for his students.
9. Manuel Clément
Manuel Clement is a VR and AR Designer / Prototyper on Daydream. He builds immersive prototypes at Google, and is passionate about teaching children about programming and electronics.
10. Benjamin Lang
Benjamin Lang is the Co-Founder of Road to VR, an independent news website that focuses on VR in the consumer segments. He is a top influencer in the VR field and posts on Twitter regularly about the world of VR.
11. Danny Bittman
Danny Bittman is a filmmaker, composer and VR artist. He’s currently using Google Tilt Brush and Blocks to create breathtaking immersive designs for Marvel, Google, Hyundai, Nvidia, and more. Follow him on Twitter for daily updates or visit his website to look at some of his work.
12. Rob Crasco
Going by the name RoblemVR on Twitter, Rob is a VR evangelist. He has a YouTube channel called Virtually Everything and, as the name suggests, he talks about everything related to VR and AR. Follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his YouTube channel for more daily content.
“Among all the new disruptive technologies (Crypto, AI/ML, IoT, 3D Printing, 5G, AR/VR) I think AR/VR is going to have the greatest impact on us. Humans are fundamentally visual & spatial thinkers. AR/VR connects us to the power of computers far better than screens do. We are already use cases like training in VR that are both more effective and far cheaper than traditional methods of training and businesses are taking notice. Using AR to see what items look like in your home is slashing expensive return rates for home furnishing companies. These and dozens of other current use cases are just he tip of the iceberg. In the future we will see AR/VR used in ways we can’t even imagine today.”
13. Kent Bye
If you are a fan of podcasts, you will love Kent. Kent does podcasts on VR on his website called voicesofvr.com. He also founded and manages the VR Meetup in Portland.
14. Sanem Avcil
Sanen is a huge influence in the world of VR gaming. She also holds an Initial Coin Offering Advisory position in multiple companies. Follow her on twitter for a daily VR roundup.
15. Malia Probst
Malia is the founding partner of VRScout, co-founder of WXRfund, and host of the Real Virtual Show. She posts regularly on Twitter, has her own blog on Medium, and does podcasts as well. She is, without any doubt, one of the top influencers in the world of VR.
16. Jeremy Dalton
Not just an influencer, the London-native is more of an immersive technology guru. He leads the PwC’s AR/VR proposition to let clients understand the importance of immersive technology. He is also a VR evangelist.
17. John Carmack
John is the CTO of Oculus and has a massive twitter following of over 840K. He does use a lot of jargon, but if you’re a techie and want to have a leap forward in your ideas, you are missing out if you are not following him.
18. Rick King
Rick King is one of the ‘Twitter Kings’ in the world of VR. He talks about spatial computing, AI, VR, AR, mixed reality, and robotics. He also follows and retweets other influencers and personalities in the space of AR/VR.
19. Tiptap Chennavasin
Tiptap’s profile picture should be enough to let you know he is a VR enthusiast and an influencer. He is one of the general managers for The VR Fund; a VR venture capital firm. So if you have an idea, do reach out to him.
20. Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill is the CEO of StoryUP XR, a neuro-immersive media company that is responsible for creating AR and VR products to manage stress. Her company helped to create Healium, which helps users take advantage of AR and VR to cope with stress, anxiety and help them to meditate.
21. Sam Watts
Sam Watts or VR Sam is the Director of Immersive Technology for Make Real VR. He is using VR and AR to make learning, training and gaming more enjoyable.
“Immersive Technologies like AR and VR are starting to have an impact upon the world beyond gaming, in sectors such as training, simulation, learning and development as well as entertainment and experiential content, not just from a bespoke, fit for purpose angle but by allowing anyone to become a creator. This is vitally important as the new medium continues to grow to ensure that it is open and inclusive to all, meaning that there will be a range of diverse content to help push towards the mainstream. As other supporting technologies bubble up around AR and VR, such as 5G, cloud services and advances in hardware and software rendering mechanics, the barriers to entry will fall away and ease of use will increase. It is our role as influencers, educators and evangelists to ensure we are helping the cause, not hindering it by over-inflating possibilities and hype, ensuring users understand what is possible now and in the future, allowing them to push the boundaries with confidence and knowledge.”
22. Dean Takahashi
Dean has been a gaming journalist for over 25 years. However, with recent innovations with immersive technology in gaming, there’s a lot to talk about in this industry. So if you are a gamer or simply want to learn about VR hardware or software, he’s a great person to follow.
23. Chet Faliszek
Chet is also involved in gaming and VR. On top of that, he is a developer and a major influencer in the VR developer world, so he deserves your follow.
24. Karissa Bell
Karissa is a senior technology reporter at Mashable. She provides coverage on social media and mobile apps with a VR influence.
25. Hugo Barra
Have you ever wondered what Mark Zuckerberg’s VR avatar looks like? Well, if you follow Hugo, you will find out. Hugo is the VP of VR for Facebook and Oculus. His twitter account covers the world of immersive technology.
26. Josh Farkas
Josh is the CEO of Creative Agency Cubicle Ninjas, a creative design agency focused on AR and VR. Their clientele includes Maxim and Red Bull. He posts news about the immersive industry, and even some of the services his company provides.
27. Ryan Wyatt
Ryan Wyatt is the Global Head of Gaming, and Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality at YouTube. He leads a team that supports YouTube gaming partners and hunts for new stars. Ryan is also deeply involved with the YouTube Game App which is looking to compete against the formidable Twitch.
Nathaniel is one of the top influencers in the VR space. He reviews VR games, apps and experiences. He also has a YouTube channel, where he creates videos regarding the world of VR. Check him out!
29. Antony Vitillo
We are not sure if Tony scared a ghost or is scared by one, but he has quite an authority in the VR world. Tony manages an independent blog called skarredghost.com. In his blog he covers VR, AR, startups, and more. He also tweets a lot about VR and gaming.
“AR and VR will change our lives because they will let us modify our reality in a credible way.
VR will let us teleport magically in a new situation, where we can be whoever we want to be, doing whatever we want to do. It is the realization of our dreams.”
“AR will let instead us live better in the world we are already in, assisting us in having an easier and more satisfactory life. AR can assist us in doing our everyday tasks and in discovering more our world.”
30. David Jagneaux
David is a Senior Edit at UploadVR, one of the leading VR/AR/MR focused media publications. He is also a contributor to other mainstream tech and gaming publications such as IGN, PCGamer, and Gamecrate.
“Virtual reality and augmented reality have the profound potential to not only provide us with an escapist fantasy of alternate worlds to visit and become immersed in, but to also connect us with people across the planet. It’s the next evolution of computing and will become an integral part of society in time. We are at the forefront of something truly special here that can impact people’s lives in remarkable ways.”
31. Rikard Steiber
Rikard’s Twitter cover page makes him look like more of a superhero. He is the President of Viveport and Senior Vice President of Virtual Reality at HTC. And from his resume alone you can guess he tweets a lot about VR and gaming. Maybe “he is not the hero we deserve, but the hero we need” in today’s rapidly changing tech world!
32. Job J. Stauffer
Job is the Founder and Chief Commercial Officer of Orpheus, a company that specializes in VR gaming. He also tweets about VR and games.
33. Tom Emrich
Tom is very active in the AR and VR community. He attends events, interviews, and tweets almost everything in AR and VR. He is involved with Augmented World Expo. He is also a partner at Super Venture, which provides funding for AR startups.
34. Charlie Fink
Charlie is a consultant, writer, speaker and a Contributor to Forbes. He also authored the book called Charlie Fink’s Metaverse, an AR Enabled Guide to VR & AR.
35. Steve Lukas
Steve is well involved in the AR/VR world. He is a researcher, developer, publisher, advisor and an inventor. He tweets a lot of news and content about the world of immersive technology. Steve has also recently joined Developer Relations for Magic Leap.
“Spatial computing is bringing us back to the way we were meant to see and navigate the world: in volumetric 3d. It takes some time to adapt to this paradigm, so the sooner you jump in, the further ahead you’ll be of the pack.”
36. Cathy Hackl
Cathy is deeply passionate about AR, VR, and XR. She talks about how AR and VR can be used as the new medium of communication for marketers. She has also done a number of talks about immersive technology. If you are interested in AR and VR and want to see how you can use it for marketing purposes, give her a follow.
37. Vladimir Ilic
Vlad is a VR artist. He does a lot of painting with Google Tilt Brush and Oculus. You can see his work on Twitter and on his website. He writes a blog that you can access to learn more about VR and art.
38. Liv Erickson
Liv is an immersive technology developer. She posts a lot of cool topics and news on her twitter account about the world of immersive technology. Liv also has a blog and a website dedicated to coding.
39. Dr. Helen Papagiannis
Dr. Papagiannis is a major influencer in the AR world. She has done talks at places such as the Take Over Innovation Conference and Ted Talks. She also authored the prominent AR book called The Augmented Human. If you want a deeper understanding with AR, do give her a follow.
“The true power of Augmented reality (AR) is a conversation with reality where our environment is contextually responsive and enables a deeper connection to the people, places, and things that surround us. AR can help us to not only see anew, but to touch, hear, and even smell and taste in novel ways. As humans, we move through a 3D world and experience reality with our entire bodies, yet technology often limits us to a 2D plane. Augmented Human is an exploration of this new reality.”
40. Helen Situ
Helen has a strong knowledge of the immersive technology space. She has been previously involved with NextVR, and is currently involved as the COO of Moment XR. She is also involved with Virtual Reality POP, Age of Life, and SXSW Conference & Festivals.
41. Jenn Duong
Jenn is heavily involved in the immersive technology space. She is involved in female empowerment in the VR world, and also creates breathtaking 360 images and videos.
“I’ve always felt that VR is the most effective medium that truly embodies our understanding of humanity. VR is like a universal language because we are creating experiences. But the reality is, I think we are still at a point and time where we are distilling what experiences look and feel like. It’s a really exciting time to be in space- we’re figuring it out and it’s great that the space is so collaborative.”
42. Jazmin Cano
Jazmin is a proud citizen of the metaverse. She is a 3D modeling and texture artist, and advocates for the future of social VR. She is also involved with the empowerment of women in VR. She is currently the VR User Engagement Officer at High Fidelity, a company dedicated to creating an open platform for social VR.
“VR is the medium that is empowering people to communicate and collaborate across every kind of boundary, whether it’s for business or pleasure”
43. Alex Schwartz
If you like Rick and Morty, you will love Alex. Alex is the former creator of Rick and Morty VR. He is a self-proclaimed VR nerd, who posts a lot about immersive technology on his twitter.
44. Devin Reimer
Devin strongly believes that VR is the future. So, if you are as passionate as Devin, you shouldn’t forget to give him a follow. He is currently the CEO of VR Game Studio at Owlchemyl Labs.
45. Davison Chiginya
Davison is deeply passionate about VR. He is also involved in the AR and MR space and very much loves his HTC Hive. He posts cool content and he definitely deserves a follow from you.
46. Jonathan Nafarrete
Jonathan has a really creative mind. He is a Photographer and Director. He is also the Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief at VRScout.
47. Bruce Wooden
48. Palmer Luckey
Palmer is the Founder of Oculus and is considered the founding father of modern VR. He has a large twitter base and also has an online forum called ModRetro. If you want to keep up to date with the VR community, ModRetro is the place to be.
49. Olga Nabatova
Olga is a Toronto-based VR/AR artist, sculptor and illustrator. She posts some of her breathtaking artwork on Twitter. And if that’s not cool enough, she has her own hashtag called #vrolga. So she definitely deserves a follow.
“With AR VR we will be able to share our dreams experiences ideas and emotions in colour volume sound and movement as easily as we are texting now.”
50. Ori Inba
Ori posts regularly about the AR technology on his twitter. He is, according to his twitter bio, “in pursuit of the ultimate augmented reality experience.” He is currently involved with A Reality Event and Super Ventures.
These individuals are some of the most important cultural and technological influencers in the augmented and virtual reality space. They are pushing the envelope and are at the forefront of discovering new ways to incorporate AR/VR into our day-to-day lives. It is through their pioneering efforts that we are finding out how this immersive technology can help change the world and revolutionize industry – from cost of living and transportation, to medicine and manufacturing.
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