January 16, 2024 – LG Electronics CEO Cho Joo-wan has recently confirmed to The Guru, a South Korean technology media outlet, that the company is planning to unveil XR devices as early as next year. However, due to the lack of distinction between singular and plural forms of the word “device” in Korean, it remains unclear whether LG intends to launch a single product or multiple products.
According to Cho Joo-wan, LG Electronics has shifted the development of XR devices to its TV division in order to “expedite the development process.” This move suggests that the company is serious about making a significant push into the XR space.
While LG is no stranger to the VR landscape, its previous forays have not been particularly successful. In 2016, the company released a smartphone-based VR headset for viewing 360-degree videos, but it failed to garner much market attention. In 2017, LG showcased a prototype of a PC-based SteamVR headset, but it never made it to market.
So, what can we expect from LG’s upcoming XR devices? Last October, South Korean media outlet ETNews reported on Qualcomm’s upcoming high-end XR chipset, the Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2. Earlier this month, Qualcomm officially announced the chip and revealed that it would be powering several upcoming headsets, including Immersed’s Visor, Samsung’s upcoming Google-powered headset, an unreleased HTC Vive headset, a Chinese YVR headset, and Sony’s enterprise-focused “spatial content creation” headset.
Interestingly, ETNews also mentioned LG as a potential customer for the chipset. Another noteworthy aspect is that Meta, which was a launch partner for the XR2 Gen 1, XR2+ Gen 1, and XR2 Gen 2 chipsets, is not on Qualcomm’s list of customers for the XR2+ Gen 2.
In 2022, South Korean technology media outlet SBS Biz reported that Meta was in talks with LG Display to use MicroOLED displays in its future headsets. Then, in September of this year, another South Korean media outlet, Maeil Business News, reported that LG was collaborating with Meta to develop the next-generation Quest Pro headset. According to the report, the first collaborative headset is expected to be released in 2025 with a price tag of around $2,000 (currently equivalent to approximately 14,360 Chinese yuan), which aligns with the timeline revealed by Cho Joo-wan.
Given LG’s expertise in the hardware domain, its collaboration with Meta could be a crucial step towards entering the high-end XR market and competing with devices like Apple’s Vision Pro and the upcoming Google-powered Samsung headset. However, it’s important to note that the collaboration between Meta and LG is still in the rumor stage, and LG has only officially confirmed its plans to launch XR devices next year.