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Apple Allegedly Partnering With Carl Zeiss for Augmented Reality Glasses

Apple and German company Carl Zeiss AG are working together on a pair of augmented reality smart glasses that could be announced as soon as this year, claims well-known blogger Robert Scoble in a Facebook post.

According to Scoble, a Zeiss employed allegedly confirmed the partnership between the two companies in a conversation that took place at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada last week.

zeissbooth
Zeiss' booth at CES. Image via Robert Scoble

Scoble questioned the Zeiss employees at the show after noticing Zeiss had a booth in the augmented reality section of CES without showing off an augmented reality product. He believes Apple forced Zeiss to keep quiet about an upcoming release.
Exclusive news: Apple and Zeiss working together on augmented reality optics. [...]

A Zeiss employee confirmed the rumors that Apple and Carl Zeiss AG are working on a light pair of augmented reality/mixed reality glasses that may be announced this year. (I thought it was next year but now that I saw this I believe it will happen this year).
It's not clear how reliable Scoble's information is, but previous rumors have suggested Apple is working on a set of smart glasses that would connect wirelessly to the iPhone and display images and other information to the wearer.

Apple is said to have contacted suppliers about the project, which appears to be in the exploratory prototyping phase of development. While Scoble believes the glasses could be released in 2017, previous information points towards a 2018 or later release.

Apple has a full team dedicated to AR/VR research and exploring how the technologies can be incorporated into future products. Multiple times over the past year, Tim Cook has said that Apple has a deep interest in augmented reality. "AR can be really great. We have been and continue to invest a lot in this. We're high on AR in the long run," he said in July.

Related Roundup: Apple VR Project
Tags: Robert Scoble, Zeiss


Top Rated Comments

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7 weeks ago
The only thing the Macrumors forum hates more than Apple not innovating is when Apple is innovating.
Rating: 71 Votes
7 weeks ago
Too bad they won't have any MBPs, Minis, or Mac Pros that can render high resolution VR content.
Rating: 36 Votes
7 weeks ago

Last to the party isn't innovating.

By that standard the iPhone nor the iPod were innovations and you've lost all credibity with anyone who utilizes common sense.
Rating: 24 Votes
7 weeks ago

The only thing the Macrumors forum hates more than Apple not innovating is when Apple is innovating.


Last to the party isn't innovating.
Rating: 17 Votes
7 weeks ago

The only thing the Macrumors forum hates more than Apple not innovating is when Apple is innovating.


This so concisely encapsulated these forums. Hat's off to you, sir.
Rating: 12 Votes
7 weeks ago
AirPods + AirGlasses seems to be the direction Apple could be going. Not virtual reality, but HUD style augmented reality basically like Google glass, but hopefully not as atrocious.

Apple will sell many frame sizes, styles & colors, and maybe the LCD/glass tech will allow a prescription to be programmed into them for basic vision correction.

Partly sarcastic side below:

I can see it now:
Space Gray, Silver, RoseGold & Gold just $399
AirGlassholes edition: just $1999
Steve Jobs round style edition: $2999 and limited to a production run of 1337 units.
Rating: 12 Votes
7 weeks ago
This is what I come here to read. Obviously, Apple won't be the first to offer a product with augmented reality, but they have found success in markets they were late to in the past. Here's to cautiously hoping for another iPod, iPhone, iPad, or AirPods-esque unexpected hit.
Rating: 9 Votes
7 weeks ago
What a load of crap
Rating: 8 Votes
7 weeks ago
Hmmm.... it seems unusual but if an employee really did confirm it then it could be possible. Despite his interest in AR, Tim Cook has said he thinks smart glasses are hard to do.

Personally the partnership with Energous, for true wireless charging, is more interesting to me right now.
Rating: 7 Votes
7 weeks ago

Does Apple truly believe AR is the future that the masses will embrace? Are they banking on some sort of distopian Trump world where we live underground wearing visors to escape reality? AR is cool for sure, but to invest so heavily in it seems like a reach.


You're typing AR, but then pretending it's VR? AR isn't about being visually transported to another world. It's about overlaying (ideally) useful information over your normal vision.
Rating: 7 Votes

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