Samsung to launch mixed reality headset in 2023 - report
Samsung is expected to re-enter the XR market in 2023 to prepare for Apple's headset launch. The Korean company does not want to fall behind the competition in case the market grows faster due to Apple's involvement.
A special task force oversees developing the XR device, involving subsidiaries such as Samsung Display and Samsung Electro-Mechanics and key suppliers. This is reported by the South Korean news portal Naver News. Samsung has completed several prototypes and is currently testing samples, the report said. Chinese companies are also involved in development and manufacturing.
The strategy, it said, is to build a Samsung-centric XR ecosystem, apparently preparing for Apple's potential entry into the market. Samsung is initiating partnerships with global companies, it said.
According to the report, the device is primarily intended for developers and will be accompanied by an SDK. Samsung wants to create "killer content" in various fields such as entertainment, education, healthcare, and defense.
Samsung confirmed a "metaverse device" before
It has been rumored for many years that Apple will launch an XR headset. However, timing predictions have proven to be wrong time and time again. Although Tim Cook regularly raves about augmented reality, concrete XR hardware has not been promised.
The mysterious device is said to be a mixed reality headset similar to Meta Quest Pro, which films the physical environment, streams it to a display and augments it digitally. Samsung's headset is likely to go in the same direction.
In early 2022, a report said that Samsung and Microsoft were collaborating on the development of such a device, but the collaboration has since reportedly fallen apart. Microsoft is currently working with Meta to provide Windows software for Quest devices.
It is quite possible that Samsung will launch a "Metaverse device" on its own. At the Mobile World Congress 2022, Samsung CEO Han Jong-hee indirectly confirmed the existence of such hardware, on which Samsung is "working hard".
It would be a re-entry that has been a long time coming and would be good for the XR industry. Besides Meta and possibly Apple, there would then be a third big tech player.
Samsung was one of the drivers of VR and AR in the early years: The company launched the Samsung Gear VR together with Oculus and Facebook and participated in Microsoft's failed mixed reality platform with the Samsung Odyssey PC VR headset (see article image). However, nothing more came after that.
Samsung has recently promised new XR products for 2019 and filed several XR patents, but so far we have waited in vain.