A rumour voiced by Robert Scobie, a leading pundit in the world of augmented and virtual reality technology, points to Apple being close to targeting its first products in the sector. Apple is apparently collaborating with Carl Zeiss AG (the powerful German optics company) on a pair of augmented-reality glasses that may come to market as early as late 2017 or 2018.
The combination of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s positive references to the augmented reality space and the second round of rumours emerging, suggest there may be some truth to it all. Apple may be at least considering adding a third dimension to its already existing offerings in the wearable category - the Apple Watch and AirPods.
Scobie confirms, via his Facebook page, that “a Zeiss employee confirmed the rumors” of a partnership between the optical expert and Apple.
Scobie posted on the 5th January whilst at the Consumer Electronics Show:
“Carl Zeiss is in the AR part of CES.
But it is NOT showing off its mixed reality optics.
I said “Tim Cook didn’t let you” and the employees around me smiled nervously.”
These reports may be easily cast aside and not taken seriously, but in light of Cook’s comments last July there may be something to it all, “AR can be really great, and we have been and continue to invest a lot in this,” Cook said back then. “We are high on AR for the long run. We think there are great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity.”
Apple’s acquisitions include firms that could help the company cash in on potential visions it has for the new space, these include PrimeSense (the company that powered Kinect) and Metaio – makers of AR generation tools. Last October Cook explained that the road to AR is not a straightforward one: “[It’s] going to take a while, because there are some really hard technology challenges there, but it will happen in a big way, and we will wonder when it does, how we ever lived without it. Like we wonder how we lived without our phone today.”