Investing in the risky business of smart glasses is like playing devil’s advocate. This is because the ‘failure’ of Glass is still so fresh in some people’s minds, therefore not many have dared to follow in Googles footsteps until recently.
Personally, I think that those who still mock Google’s efforts were simply not ready for the technology that the Glass showcased. Built on possibilities, the Glass did gain traction in vertical enterprise, medical and military circles. Ok, I digress. Continuing on with what could turn out to be the biggest collaboration of 2017, Apple x Carl Zeiss partnership has already gained a large number of believers excited about the project before it has even come to market. One of the reasons behind this blind faith is that Apple is very good at window dressing their technology, so many are confident that their ‘iGlasses’ will be quite impressive.
We are all quite familiar with the Apple family, but Carl Zeiss, is a name that doesn’t fall easily from many lips. For those who are not in the know, German company Zeiss, founded in 1846 by Carl Zeiss, has earned respect in the industry after its technological milestones in microscopy, camera lenses, electron microscopy and eyeglass lenses. Also, many computers, cell phones, navigation devices and flat screen TVs are embedded with Carl Zeiss technology. As the brand behind the ‘artificial brains’ of our digital world, Carl Zeiss’s smart glass technology is covered by more than 250 patents so it is no wonder why Apple wooed them to become their partner in this venture.
“Apple is very good at window dressing their technology, so we are confident that their ‘iGlasses’ will be quite impressive.”
This is not the first time that the Carl Zeiss name has been mentioned within the wearable realm. Mike Elgan, an opinion columnist who writes for both online and offline publications such as Computerworld.com, The Raw Feed and TechGear wrote about Carl Zeiss at the beginning of 2016. In his write up he explained how Carl Zeiss technology works. To quote him, he states, “Carl Zeiss Technology beams light perpendicular to the eye from right to left inside a special curved lens built directly into the glasses’ lens, then immediately reflects it into the eye using something called a Fresnel lens, which is a flat lens that’s made up of concentric circles.”
So how will the two brands work together? Well, Carl Zeiss brags the capabilities to add AR capabilities to smartphones, and Apple is hoping to develop smart glasses with the ability to connect wirelessly to their iPhones, their partnership seems like a match made in heaven. Thinking outside the box, Apple envisions their glasses displaying images and other information in the wearer’s field of view. Sounds snazzy.
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With plans to launch soon, many curious parties approached Carl Zeiss at CES 2017 to see whether they can wiggle a confirmation of their collaboration out of the horse’s mouth. One of these people was Robert Scoble. The VR/AR influencer posted the response to his Facebook. It stated; “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).”
Lastly, it is no secret that Apple CEO Tim Cook has already invested a lot of time and money in VR and AR. During an interview with Good Morning America, Cook praised AR, calling it a “core technology”. When questioned further about it, he stated that AR will be a bigger business in the longer term than VR. Showing dedication to both the AR and VR space, we foresee a product that might just outshine its competitors in design and user experience. Working together with a brand that has a reputation for impressive technological innovations, we believe that if they do it correctly, their finished product will have a positive impact on the wearables market. If anyone has the power to erase the negative memory of the Google Glass from people’s minds, then the Apple x Zeiss collaboration can.