How VR Could Change Education & Entertainment for the Next Generation

Virtual reality experiences designed for kids is a swiftly growing area. The next generation could be the first to truly embrace VR as it transforms the way they learn and more. 

Virtual reality is poised to become a multi-industry game-changer for this generation—but the technology is already being used by many to transform education and entertainment for the next generation as well. Virtual reality projects and products designed for the pre-teen set are being launched at a quick pace—and today’s kids could be the first to get hooked on VR.

A 2015 survey on virtual reality conducted by Greenlight VR found that younger consumers are more excited about the technology than the older generations, with “Gen Z” the most passionate about it. Parents might want to prepare: 70% of teens and tweens interviewed would "definitely” or “probably” ask for a VR device. Since then, we’ve seen The New York Time’s Google Cardboard giveaway inspire parents to hand headsets over to their children, McDonald’s turn the Happy Meal into a kid-sized virtual reality experience, and Mark Zuckerberg publicly declare that he will “absolutely” let his own kid play VR games. While virtual reality might still be in the early stages of mainstreaming, it’s becoming clear that VR could be the norm for the next generation.

In our Q&A with VR leader Framestore, Executive Producer Christine Cattano told us that virtual reality has major potential to impact the next generation. She explained, “Obviously the initial players [in VR] are going to be gaming and entertainment, but I think there's lots of really interesting value to be added to areas like healthcare and education. Education, to me, is probably the most exciting. I’m excited to see how VR changes how kids are interested in certain places, and how we can…

 
 

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Quote of the Day: “It's free to walk to work and I get some exercise in.”—Female, 26, NY

Niche beauty brands have blurred gender lines at their core—can large cosmetics companies play catch up without seeming “disingenuous”? Milk Makeup and Fluide have built their brands on being inclusive, but larger brands sometimes strike consumers as hopping on the band wagon when they try to do the same—especially since they created so many of the gender norms they’re now rallying against. The best way for them to get in on the trend? Start by making their hiring process more inclusive both “behind the lens” and in front of it. (Fast Company)

Starbucks thinks the “health and wellness” trend is to blame for declining Frappuccino sales. Despite marketing efforts like the Unicorn Frappuccino, syrupy drink sales are down 3% from last year. However, rivals like McDonald’s and Dunkin' Donuts could be stealing sugary beverage sales from the coffee giant, meaning young consumers’ penchant for healthification isn't necessarily the culprit. In fact, McDonalds recently debuted two new frozen drinks that earning praising on Twitter. (NYPFox News)

Apple is getting into kids’ content, teaming up with Sesame Workshop for a slate of original shows. Live-action, animated, and puppet-based series will be included in the programming, but Sesame Street itself is not part of the deal. There are no details yet on where Apple will release the shows, meaning they could either shop them to another platform or debut them on their own streaming platform. Considering that Apple has several original program deals in the works, they could be looking to bulk up their own bid in the streaming wars. (Kidscreen)

Twitter and Tumblr posts are getting a new lease on life—as screenshots on Instagram. While young users of Twitter and Tumblr have declined, Ypulse’s Social Media Trackerfound that over half of 13-35-year-olds use Instagram daily. Instagram is the preferred place to post memes, despite many accounts creating their content elsewhere. Why do they switch platforms to post? Instagram’s Discover tab allows faster browsing than Twitter, while Instagram images are displayed in full rather than being cut off, like they are on Twitter. (The Verge)

Eggo sales are down in between seasons of Stranger Things. Yes, the sci-fi series has that much influence on the frozen waffle’s revenue. One Eggo executive explains that they “quickly leveraged the [resulting] consumer engagement” from the show, and it paid off: sales jumped 14% in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 9.4% for the first four months of 2018. However, fewer people are binging the Gen Z & Millennial favorite these days, so Kellogg’s frozen pancakes, waffles, and French toast sales have slowed to just 1.3% year-over-year. (CNN)

Quote of the Day: “I fell in love with trance music.”—Male, 23, NY

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