SEOUL, May 06 (Yonhap) — Samsung Electronics Co. is accelerating its research and development of metaverse-related technologies to fuel its new growth engines, joining the growing list of global technology companies betting big on this new field.
Samsung Vice President Han Jong-hee recently discussed the topic with a number of employees and reaffirmed the company’s plan to roll out “Samsung’s version of the metaverse,” the sources say.
The metaverse is a broad – and often vague – term for a virtual world where people interact digitally with others.
“We will create the Samsung version of the metaverse. Please come up with lots of ideas and help bring them to fruition,” Han said.
It wasn’t the first time the top executive mentioned the need to delve into emerging technology, seen as the next big thing in the global tech industry.
Facebook officially changed its name to Meta in November, calling the Metaverse “the next evolution of social connection.”
Han singled out the metaverse and robotics as the tech giant’s new growth areas at the annual shareholder meeting in March.
“We will launch metaverse devices and solutions to allow customers to experience new technology wherever they are,” he said at the time.
Han also made similar remarks during MWC 2022 in Barcelona, Spain in February.
“We’re working on a metaverse device, which is all the rage right now. Preparation is going smoothly. Please look forward to launch,” he said.
Samsung, the world’s largest maker of memory chips and mobile phones, recently set up a dedicated task force on the subject, which reports directly to Han, and is said to be developing a virtual reality headset under the name Galaxy as the first metaverse related product.
Samsung Research, the R&D center of the company’s Device eXperience (DX) unit, studies “display technologies and next-generation device prototypes,” as well as various usage scenarios, according to the company.
Samsung also used the metaverse for marketing and entertainment purposes.
At CES 2022, the company showcased its new online platform, My House, where users can decorate their virtual home with Samsung home appliances.
The project was done in conjunction with Naver Z’s Zepeto, Asia’s largest metaverse platform, to broaden communication channels with young people who are comfortable using the digital space to create virtual identities.
“Since home appliances tend to be large, trying to place them in users’ own spaces is difficult,” said Kwon Young-woong of the company’s global marketing center.
“Users will be able to have a special experience by gaining a deeper understanding of their preferences and personalizing their spaces,” he added.
Another metaverse event, which also took place in January, did not go as well as the company had hoped.
Samsung has built a virtual store, Samsung 837X, which is a replica of its real-life New York flagship store, on the Decentraland blockchain-powered virtual world to showcase its latest flagship Galaxy S22 series.
“The Metaverse allows us to transcend physical and spatial boundaries to create unique virtual experiences that couldn’t happen otherwise,” said Michelle Crossan-Matos, senior vice president of corporate marketing communications team at Samsung. ElectronicsAmerica.
But the live event has drawn skepticism from some industry experts and users, after many of them were unable to attend the virtual event due to technical difficulties.
One Twitter user called the experiment a “convoluted mess” and said, “I hate how people have turned the word ‘metaverse’ into a buzzword.”