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YouTube videos of grandmas freaking out over their first virtual reality (VR) experiences during the holidays are trending, and are charming to see. But if you’re a technology watcher, it’s also interesting to take note of which headset they’ve got strapped on their faces. Many of them are of the mobile variety, which use a smartphone to drive the experience. Given the phone-driven headset’s lower entry cost point compared to likes of HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, that’s not a big surprise.

A new report released this week by Tractica estimates that more than 88 percent of all consumer-grade VR head-mounted displays (HMDs) sold in 2016 were mobile headsets, and the firm predicts the mobile domination of the VR market could continue for years. Tractica foresees mobile HMDs representing three-quarters of annual consumer-grade HMDs shipments in 2021. By that time, it forecasts that the total market for mobile VR hardware and content will reach $10.9 billion worldwide.

“Mobile VR has a tremendous amount of momentum, but there is much work still to be done,” Tractica Principal Analyst Mark Beccue says. “VR is an extremely complex technology and there are many obstacles to a frictionless, optimized user experience.”

Beccue adds that advances in optics, processing efficiencies, cloud computing, software application development, and streaming, as well as increased access to higher-quality broadband, will improve and accelerate the general availability of consistently high-quality VR experiences.

“While VR for mobile is currently a less immersive experience than PC and console-based VR, the gap will narrow considerably between 2017 and 2021. There is a real possibility that mobile will become not only the choice for simpler VR experiences, but the choice for the vast majority of all VR experiences,” he says.

More on the firm’s “Mobile Virtual Reality” report is here.

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