Frontline Marketing

Youth Looks Forward to VR

Steve Peterson|

As news about virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) continues to appear, interest is growing – and not just among adults. Touchstone Research queried a US sample of 500 kids ages 10-17, drawn to provide even distribution across the ages, 50/50 boy/girl and nationally representative on the basis of US Census region and ethnicity for kids this age, according to the company. The results can be seen in the infographic below.

“We at Touchstone Research are predicting that VR will be the next disruptive technology platform to hit the market,” noted Touchstone Research president Aaron Burch. “Similar to how smartphones/tablets and social media changed the world we live in we feel that virtual reality has the same potential to be disruptive if not even more so.”

Burch spoke with [a]listdaily about the research and what it revealed about VR’s potential.

Kids seem to have a good awareness of VR, based on your survey. Where are they hearing about VR?

This question was not asked in the survey, however, we would predict that they are hearing about VR mainly on social media (YouTube, Instagram, etc.) or gaming and technology related blogs and websites as well as from their friends.

What’s more important to kids — the price of VR equipment or the quality of the experience?

This question was not asked in the survey, however, kids were asked the following:

‘When the new virtual reality devices are available, do you think you would ask your mom or dad to buy one for you (These might cost about the same as a video game console system.)

75 percent said they would ask.

Do you think kids and teens will be an important driver for VR market acceptance?

Absolutely, I think Teens will help lead the charge along with the 18-34 year old’s. Kids will have a major impact on VR and will likely first experience VR through cheap, mobile platform focused headsets and that for many kids and teens, this experience will happen first in the classroom. We think the education system will play a major role in the adaptation of VR devices from elementary school environments to universities as well as online education. Today’s kids, teens and young adults will be among the first group of early VR adopters. While it may take a few years, and several rounds of VR console platforms, I believe that VR will be the next disruptive technology platform to hit the market. Similar to how smartphones/tablets and social media changed the world we live in we feel that virtual reality has the same potential to be disruptive if not even more so.

How important will smartphones be in creating an interest in VR?

Interestingly, we feel both mobile devices and social media will play a major role in pushing VR forward as technology companies develop VR platforms compatible with mobile devices and VR adds yet another layer to social experiences. With major developments like Google’s VR headset platform “Google Cardboard” and Facebook’s massive investment in Oculus Rift — there is no doubt that the disruption is just around the corner.

Will VR have an impact beyond games and entertainment — perhaps even on on marketing?

VR will likely impact every major industry including gaming, education, healthcare, fitness, ecommerce, social, mobile, entertainment, technology and travel to name a few. In addition, we feel that VR will have a significant impact on the market research and consumer insights space — think about what it would be like to conduct a focus group in a virtual environment without ever leaving the office, conducting concept test, ad-tests or study shopping behavior all within a virtual space, streaming your pilot TV show, movie or ad all within a virtual cinema — the possibilities are endless! One thing is for sure, VR is certainly something that should not be ignored.

Social Data + Psychometrics