A new report from Korea IT News (via 9 to 5 Mac) says that along with a previously disclosed partnership with Microsoft to develop AR glasses for the metaverse, Samsung is at the same time working on its own version of an AR device. According to the report, Samsung is “coordinating the release date” of its own AR device, which includes “hologram technology” developed in house by Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology, with an application processor (AP) by Exynos:
Samsung will use Exynos as an AP for AR device, and have Google Android for the OS. Samsung is closely co-developing technology with DigiLens, an American AR/extended reality (XR) technology company. It is reported that Samsung Electronics has completed the development of a prototype, and is deciding the release date.
In addition to their own device, the report says Samsung has also formed a Task Force to produce AR headsets with Microsoft, which will feature the hologram technology but use a Qualcomm application processor.
These moves from Samsung could set up competition between it and Apple, who is also reportedly working on an AR headset, with a performance test for VR headset production having been reportedly completed. The Korea IT News report offers some details on the Apple headsets:
Apple VR devices are equipped with micro organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays. Apple cooperated with Taiwan’s TSMC with developing OLED displays for VR devices. Micro OLED displays do not require color filters since OLEDs are deposited directly on the chip wafer. Micro OLED is smaller, thinner, and more efficient. The VR headset application processor (AP) will be applied with M1 Chip, which is Apple’s self-developed system-on-chip, and the operating system (OS) will be running iOS.
Microsoft has so far not been talking about any AR plans, other than to embrace the metaverse, and to insist that the HoloLens is alive and well, after reports that a HoloLens 3 project has been shelved. How the market will play out if Microsoft needs to go head to head with not only Apple but Samsung with a new AR device, and at the same time compete with Facebook/Meta’s grand ambitions remains so far unclear.