Meta, Samsung, and LG talk Next-Gen XR displays - report
Samsung and LG could manufacture advanced XR displays for Meta's next-generation VR and AR hardware products.
Korean news site SBS Biz reports that dozens of Meta executives held private meetings with Samsung Display and LG Display in Seoul. The negotiations reportedly took place in late October. They were about contracts to produce high-performance screens of the OLED microdisplay and MicroLED variety specifically for upcoming VR and AR hardware. Apple and Samsung are also reportedly in talks with LG and Samsung Display.
Next-generation XR displays
Current display systems use commercially available screens from the smartphone supply chain. New varieties of XR displays could be the first designed specifically for VR and AR, taking headsets to a new level.
MicroLEDs are super-displays and a key AR technology. They outperform conventional screens in pixel density, brightness, contrast, efficiency, response time, size, and durability. The problem is that the displays are currently difficult to manufacture. And, despite isolated breakthroughs, are far from ready for the mass market. Meta's first, true AR headset is reportedly due in 2026 and will rely on MicroLED displays.
Much closer to commercialization are OLED microdisplays, which could revolutionize VR hardware as early as the next few years by enabling lighter, more power-efficient, and thinner headsets than, say, Meta Quest Pro (review). Initial headset prototypes already exist and give an idea of the potential direction of the technology. Meta might incorporate these kinds of XR displays in Meta Quest Pro 2, potentially launching in 2024.
Meta plans far into the future of VR and AR
Meta is investing tens of billions of dollars in VR and AR. In the spring of 2022, Mark Zuckerberg let slip that Meta is planning two to three hardware generations ahead. The company even has a separate team for each product. That explains the enormous spending on research and development.
Zuckerberg says these products won't make a big contribution to the company's revenue and profit until they actually hit the market, find appeal, and the market becomes larger.
That's not expected to happen until the end of the decade. That raises whether Meta might be premature in its pioneering role.