Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-2017

Capstone Advisor

Beth Egan

Honors Reader

Daniel Pacheco

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Public Communications

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Advertising and Promotion Management


With the release of devices such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Google Daydream in 2016, virtual reality seems poised to take over the tech and media landscape. Professional estimates of the projected popularity of these devices span extremely wide ranges, and many of these predictions fall victim to a self-serving bias. The purpose of this research is to identify the variables that affect the spread of the use of virtual reality, and to analyze how the characteristics of modern virtual reality relate to these variables. The framework used to identify and assess these variables comes from Everett Rogers’s seminal Diffusion of Innovations theory. To contextualize modern day VR, the paper include a brief history of the technology and relevant predecessors. It also compares and contrasts the diverse VR offerings on the market today. After analyzing virtual reality through the principles of the Diffusion of Innovations theory, it is clear that many factors are slowing VR’s rate of adoption, and that near-future estimates of the spread of the technology should be conservative. Despite this, the benefits of VR as seen through Rogers’s lens suggest that the long term view of the platform is much more optimistic.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.