For a company as prone to secrecy as Apple, Tim Cook over the past few months has been uncharacteristically effusive when discussing Augmented Reality. This past October, for example, Cook during an earnings conference call enthusiastically said that Apple was “high on” the technology.
One month earlier, Cook said that Augmented Reality is more intriguing than Virtual Reality because it allows people to talk to each other and see other information while remaining present in a conversation.
While Apple’s plans in the AR space remain murky, there are growing reports that the company is planning to release a pair of Augmented Reality equipped glasses by 2018, if not sooner .
Most recently, Robert Scoble posted a note on Facebook claiming that Apple will release a pair of Augmented Reality glasses via a partnership with Carl Zeiss AG.
Exclusive news: Apple and Zeiss working together on augmented reality optics.
For the nerds who were at CES and not paying attention to all my posts.
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).
And that explains why there was no augmented reality in Zeiss’s booth even though it was right in the middle of the AR area.
For those unfamiliar, Carl Zeiss is a well-regarded German company with decades of expertise developing a wide array of advanced optical systems, from surgical microscopes to eyeglass lenses.
While you might naturally want to take Scoble’s proclamation with a grain of salt, it’s worth noting that we’ve heard similar rumors from even more reputable sources over the past few months.
A Bloomberg report from November of last year, for example, relayed that Apple had already ordered “small quantities of near-eye displays from one supplier for testing.”