A recent survey conducted by Touchstone Research, an online marketing research firm, suggests that kids and teens between the ages of 10–17 know what VR is, and when they see it in action they think it’s “off the charts cool.”
Touchstone Research, which conducted the online survey of 500 kids from ages 10–17, said that the sample was statistically significant and that it was “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.”
Kids and VR has been a hot topic of discussion, and whether or not children under 13 should even use it is still a question for the manufacturers and medical professionals to answer. But kids want what they want, they scream, and for some reason they’re the only people allowed to do it in public.
Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe at Re/code back in May explained that Oculus’ 13+ age limit was due more to cautiousness and was “something that made a lot of sense when we became a part of Facebook. Their age is 13 as well, and so we just felt ‘let’s start at 13, let’s evolve the technology more, let’s build more confidence in the health and safety side of it'” and that “eventually one day we want to have Oculus for kids, especially for all the educational use of this.”
Before any information was presented to them, kids and teens had a pretty good understanding of the major VR headsets out there, according to Touchstone’s research. The most well-known headset among them—recognize by 38 percent of participants—was Samsung Gear VR, arguably the headset that’s closest to a consumer-level fit and finish on the market today. Oculus Rift, Sony Morpheus, Microsoft HoloLens, Google Cardboard, and Mattel’s View-master VR scored surprisingly similarly, rounding out about one-third of all kids and teens.
HTC Vive took last place at 19 percent, unsurprisingly so considering it has only just been shipped out to vetted developers early last month and has neither brand name recognition or flashy concept video to boast (but hey, there’s juggling!). Still, it was interesting to see no runaway leader in recognition for the major VR headsets among those 10–17 years old.
Kids like VR, suggests Touchstone’s survey data which they rounded up into an infographic. In fact, they like it so much that after exposure to an informational video, three-quarters of the kids and teens polled said they would ask for a VR headset if it was priced similarly to a console. There were however some concerns in around half the participants about health, headset weight, accidental injury, and how addictive VR headsets could become, but even then, 88 percent said that VR was “off the charts cool.”