A recent report hints that Samsung is finalising the Research & Development phase of a new augmented reality device, employing a new form of waveguide holographic optics technology. Samsung’s new AR device will use a system-on-chip processor, Exynos, opening the possibility for tighter optimization and performance.
In a Korea IT News report, Samsung is stated to be developing an AR device that will utilize a novel hologram screen technology. The company has allegedly been working on this new technology and subsequent AR device for a few years now, from its Advanced Institute of Technology and with its recent acquisition of DigiLens.
Furthermore, the new Samsung offering will be powered by the ARM-based chipset Exynos, manufactured and developed in-house. Overall, following the trend of new technology devices featuring such chipsets, like Apple Silicon or Google Tensor. These processors are also known as ‘system-on-chip’ as the manufacturer will not be beholden to a partnership with either Intel or AMD, while it also enables Samsung to design the software and hardware together.
The upcoming Samsung augmented reality device will be running Android as its operating system. An interesting choice, as one of the reasons for system-on-chip processing, is to develop an operating system in direct synergy and optimization with the chip itself.
Interestingly, Samsung acquired the American optics company DigiLens, who have been developing a new type of lens iteration called holographic waveguide featuring wider FOV than other types of waveguides. Without compromising on the waveguide’s upsides such as being thin and lighter than other lens types.
The question of what markets, the East or West, Korean Samsung will target its upcoming augmented reality device will dictate what AR offering they will be announcing. As Samsung’s holographic future AR device towards the west means an HMD competing against the likes of Apple, Magic Leap and Microsoft’s Hololens division. Whereas if targeting the East, a pair of Smart Glasses to compete against Nreal, TCL, and Oppo is more likely.
Interestingly, Samsung is naturally an Asian-based global corporation but has a strong presence in western markets. Furthermore, competition for Smart Glasses in Asia has stiffened in the past couple of years, so a potential western Smart Glass market could be more viable for Samsung.
It will be exciting to find out if the upcoming augmented reality device from Samsung will be a headset in the west or a smart glass in the east. Either way, this new augmented reality device is sure to shake up the AR market due to Samsung’s recognizable brand and vast market presence, bringing even more competition to whatever strategic avenue Samsung decides.