VR & Gen Z, Growing Up in a New Reality
VR & Gen Z, Growing Up in a New Reality
It's a Bold New Virtual World
VR is transforming the way Gen-Z learns, socializes, and engages with the world by offering a readily-available alternative to "base reality". The technology's growing popularity presents a wealth of opportunities for startups to innovate and create new applications, experiences, and interpretations of what is "real".
VR as a Part of Everyday Life
Traditional classroom lectures are already outdated. Students today crave interactive, engaging learning experiences that capture their attention, and motivate them to learn. This is where VR comes in. By creating virtual environments that students can explore and interact with, VR provides a more immersive and engaging learning experience. Research shows that students using VR for learning have better retention rates and are more motivated to learn. A study by the National Education Association found that VR education boasts a 74% retention rate of VR vs lectures (5%), reading (10%), and Audio-visual learning (20%).
Gen-Z values diversity and inclusion, and VR provides opportunities to connect with people from all over the world in a virtual environment. Social VR platforms like VR Chat and Marshmello are already taking the world by storm, allowing users to attend virtual events and concerts, socialize, and even shop virtually. A study by the Pew Research Center found that 53% of teens who use VR say it has helped them feel more connected to others.
Virtual dating and relationships may sound futuristic, but they're already becoming increasingly popular. A study by the University of Geneva found that 44% of people are willing to try VR dating. This creates new opportunities for startups to create virtual dating and relationship platforms that cater to Gen-Z's needs and expectations.
VR is already being used in the healthcare industry to treat a range of conditions, including anxiety, PTSD, and chronic pain. For Gen-Z, this means that VR could provide new and innovative ways to improve mental health and well-being. A study by the University of Washington found that VR-based exposure therapy was effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety in children.
VR, Gen Z, & Gaming
The VR gaming market is growing and creating new opportunities for Gen-Z gamers and startups to revolutionize how we consume & interact with media (again).
We've got VR esports now and as esports and VR become increasingly intertwined, we are going to see TONS of new gaming AND audience experiences taking immersive media to the next level. Some notable examples of esports VR games Echo Arena, Onward, and Sprint Vector. The titans of console gaming are also ramping up efforts to get kids in the game. PlayStation just dropped their PSVR2 headset and THANK THE STARS... Walkabout MiniGolf is FINALLY coming to consoles. I will play the shit out of this game. Beyond that there have been rumours of an XBox VR headset for years and though Microsoft is well equipped to produce the hardware (Hololens, Kinect, etc.) they haven't made any official announcements yet. One thing is for certain though... as media moves off the screen and into a new real of "spatial computing", games will be one of the "killer apps" that push this transition.
Investors are Taking Notice.
Considering that everyone is throwing themselves at ChatGPT and A.I right now, VR might be an interesting avenue to invest in. Spending on AR and VR is expected to reach $13.8B this year and to $50.9B in 2026, according to IDC reports. The five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will be 32.3%, VR to take up 70% of AR/VR spending in 2022-2026 period 🤯. Investing in VR startups and technologies that cater to Gen-Z's needs and expectations is crucial for the future. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of online learning, virtual events, and online shopping, creating new opportunities for startups to innovate and disrupt traditional industries. Startups like Greenlight VR and zSpace are already paving the way for the future of VR, and there's no doubt that more will follow.