Apple is working on a pair of augmented reality glasses and it is working with optics major Carl Zeiss for these. The news comes from a Facebook post by tech evangelist Robert Scoble, who claims a Zeiss employee has stated that Apple and Carl Zeiss are working on a “light pair of augmented reality/mixed reality glasses that may be announced this year.”
This is not the first time that reports have hinted that Apple is working on a pair of smart glasses, which could be geared towards an Augmented Reality experience. Back in November, Bloomberg reported that Apple was working on a pair of AR glasses that would pair with the iPhone. It cited a source who said that the device won’t be ready before 2018. Another Financial Times report in March 2016 had claimed Apple has a secret team working on AR and VR headsets.
According to Scoble’s Facebook post, which has gone viral, Zeiss’ booth was located in the augmented reality section, despite having no presence in the booming category. Scoble’s claims doesn’t hint at anything major, but it looks like Apple glasses could have built-in AR/VR features, instead of a Google Glass-type advanced smart glass
As pointed by Scoble, Zeiss being Apple’s alleged partner is less surprising. Zeiss has expertise in VR headsets and cameras. Back in 2014, Zeiss launched the VR One, the company’s own virtual reality headset to uses with smartphones.
We’ve seen some interesting takes on the idea of smart-glasses. The most fun take has come from Snap Inc, Snapchat’s parent company, which introduced Spectacles. These pair of sunglasses might look like a quirky toy, but they can record videos which can then be shared on social media or directly to Snapchat.
Snap Inc might consider these as a fun toy, but there’s massive interest in these glasses, and on ebay these limited edition specs are selling for $1000, much more than the original price of $130.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has said in the past that he thinks AR will big, and the company is investing in it. “My own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two (AR vs VR), probably by far, because this gives the capability for both of us to sit and be very present talking to each other, but also have other things visually for both of us to see,” Cook had said last year in an interview to Washington Post.
During one of the company’s earnings call, Cook had confirmed the company was investing in AR as well. The Apple CEO was quoted as saying that Apple is betting ‘high on AR for the long run’, adding “We think there are great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity.”