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Samsung Electronics working on new metaverse device Tech giant focuses on software partnerships to upgrade its metaverse gadget

Translated by Ryu Ho-joung 공개 2022-03-07 08:10:16

이 기사는 2022년 03월 07일 07:00 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

Samsung Electronics has hinted at its new metaverse device, four years after virtual reality hardware HMD Odyssey Plus was rolled out in 2018, a sign that the South Korean tech giant’s ambitions for the burgeoning extended reality (XR) market have not changed.

“We are developing a metaverse device,” Han Jong-hee, Samsung Electronics’ vice chairman, said during a visit to the Mobile World Congress 2022 in Barcelona, Spain, on February 28.

Still, Han was cautious about giving details such as a timeline for the launch, saying that product quality is the top priority.

Samsung released Gear VR in 2014 and HMD Odyssey Plus in 2018. Since then, no new XR devices have been introduced by the company.

Some speculated that Samsung was less interested in developing metaverse gadgets due to relatively low demand, partly because of their large size and high price tags.

Han’s remarks at the MWC 2022 are the latest sign that Samsung has the same sold ambitions for the metaverse device market.

Samsung appears to focus on strengthening software in developing its new metaverse gadget. Han reportedly said that he was watching Chinese companies focusing on “how things are connected” rather than individual products.

Major Chinese firms such as Oppo and Xiaomi recently joined the metaverse race. Hwawei also unveiled its augmented reality (AR) glasses and AR search feature at the MWC 2022.

Samsung has stepped up efforts to make up for its software weakness through partnership in the past four years. It announced a partnership with Microsoft a year ago and invested in 3D avatar platform Ready Player Me late last year. Most recently, Samsung acquired Apostera, a German AR software startup, through its subsidiary Harman.

According to a video leaked to foreign media, Samsung is developing new AR glasses that are compatible with Galaxy Watch. It also registered a trademark in the US in 2020 on the word “Galaxy Space,” potentially for a virtual reality headset.

Burgeoning market

With people spending more time with their gadgets since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and consuming diverse content to entertain themselves, demand for XR devices is sharply rising. Yuanta Securities Korea expects delivery of XR devices to increase from six million units in 2020 to 20 million in 2022 and 250 million in 2030.

“The market for XR devices is expected to grow to the size equivalent to those for tablets, PCs and smart watches,” an analyst at Yuanta Securities Korea said.

Global tech giants are racing to win a bigger slice of the XR device market. Meta plans to release its high-end virtual reality headset, dubbed Project Cambria, later this year. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, holds 70% of the global VR device market.

Sony recently unveiled the PlayStation VR 2, and Apple is developing its AR headset. Amazon also released Echo Frames, the smart glasses that give users hands-free access to its virtual voice assistant Alexa. (Reporting by Hyun-ji Sohn)
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