A report in November claimed that Apple was considering the possibility of entering the digital glasses market, as Snapchat recently did. Now, Robert Scoble, a popular blogger, claims that Apple is working with German optics company Carl Zeiss on its digital glasses.
Scoble cites an unnamed Zeiss employee as his source, noting that the two companies are working on a “light pair of augmented reality/mixed reality glasses.”
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).
The timeline for release is still foggy. Scoble has apparently heard two different things from different sources, most recently hearing that the glasses could be related as soon as this year. Originally, however, he thought the glasses were destined for 2018, a date corroborated by Bloomberg.
That report was a bit more hesitant to all-out say that Apple was developing a pair of digital glasses, noting that the company was still in the “exploration phase.” The glasses are said to connect wirelessly to the iPhone and show images and other information in the wearer’s field of vision.
A separate report back in November claimed that Apple is working to integrate augmented reality into the iPhone’s camera app. This functionality would allow users to point the iPhone’s camera at real-world objects have them be recognized.
Tim Cook has long expressed his interest in augmented reality, often touting the technology’s capabilities and even suggesting it has more real-world potential than virtual reality. With Cook’s praise of the technology, it’s not surprising that Apple is moving forward with plans for it at such a fast pace.
Scoble’s creditability is somewhat drawn into question by a separate claim that the iPhone 8 will be a“clear piece of glass with a computer strip at the bottom.” His smart glasses claim has, however, been corroborated.