Image: Sony (Prototyp eines OLED-Microdisplays).
Samsung and LG could make advanced XR displays for Meta’s next-gen 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 would have taken place at the end of October. These were contracts to produce high-performance screens of the OLED micro-display and MicroLED variety specifically for upcoming VR and AR hardware. Apple and Samsung are also said to be in talks with LG and Samsung Display.
Next-gen XR displays
Current display systems use commercially available screens from the smartphone supply chain. New varieties of XR screens could be the first specially designed for virtual reality and ARtaking helmets to a new level.
MicroLEDs are super displays and key AR technology. They outperform conventional displays in pixel density, brightness, contrast, efficiency, response time, size and durability. The problem is that screens are currently difficult to manufacture. And, despite isolated breakthroughs, are far from ready for the mass market. Meta’s first true AR headset is slated for release in 2026 and will rely on MicroLED displays.
Much closer to commercialization are OLED micro-displays, which could revolutionize VR hardware in the next few years by allowing lighter, more energy efficient and thinner headsets than, say, Meta Quest Pro (review). The first helmet prototypes already exist and give an idea of the potential direction of the technology. Meta could integrate these types of XR screens into Meta Quest Pro 2, potentially launching in 2024.
Meta sees far into the future of virtual reality and augmented reality
Meta invests tens of billions of dollars in virtual reality and augmented reality. In the spring of 2022, Mark Zuckerberg let slip that Meta predicted two to three generations of hardware to come. The company even has a separate team for each product. This explains the enormous expenditure on research and development.
Zuckerberg says these products won’t make a big contribution to the company’s revenue and profits until they hit the market, find traction, and expand the market.
That shouldn’t happen before the end of the decade. This raises the question of whether Meta might be premature in its pioneering role.