After a content-starved market introduction, virtual reality (VR) is ready to thrive off a swath of new and compelling content choices. Total VR device shipments will reach 110 million by 2021. While mobile device-reliant VR shipments – such as Samsung Gear VR, and Google Daydream – dwarf today's other VR device types, standalone devices will see a 405 percent CAGR through 2021, compared to a 42 percent CAGR for mobile VR.

With an influx of standalone VR devices, a greater range of use cases will be explored, broadening the gaming-focused VR market of today. A research anticipates a total market size of USD 64 billion by 2021. Non-gaming software and content, VR advertising, and VR-related video revenue will together hold a significant portion of the market. VR applications in retail and marketing will, therefore, see a 124 percent CAGR through 2021.

The three primary VR device types – mobile, standalone, and tethered – are entering the market with unique value propositions, target audiences, and use case support. However, there is the less understood market of mixed reality on the horizon. MR incorporates elements of augmented reality to VR devices, as evident in Intel's Alloy reference design. Associated machine vision technology like RealSense or Google's Tango opens a compelling AR/VR hybrid opportunity on the mobile platform. Taking the best of both AR and VR will open up the enterprise market further, and will enable entirely new use cases and applications not yet conceived.