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Apple partners with Zeiss ahead of 2018 AR specs launch – report

With all its major rivals working on some sort of virtual or augmented reality device, it would make sense for Apple to at least be investigating its own version of the technology.

Which, according to industry watcher Robert Scoble, is exactly what the company is doing, in partnership with optics manufacturer Zeiss.

Scoble managed to speak to a Zeiss employee at CES 2017, who apparently revealed the two firms are developing “a light pair of augmented reality/mixed reality glasses that may be announced this year.”

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Carl Zeiss AG had a booth at CES, but wasn’t showing off any AR or VR technology, which Scoble puts down to Apple keeping a tight leash on whatever the two companies are working on.

Apple has previously been said to be working on its own AR product, with Bloomberg reporting back in November that the company was in the ‘exploration phase’ of developing a pair of digital glasses.

The glasses were said to be capable of showing images and other information in the user’s field of vision, and would connect wirelessly to iPhones.

The article cited people familiar with the matter as claiming Apple was in talks with potential suppliers, and had even ordered a small number of near-eye displays.

It was also claimed that if Apple went ahead with the device, it would be introduced “in 2018 at the earliest”.

But Scoble’s latest update suggests we may see Apple’s AR tech arrive this year, though as with all this information, there’s absolutely no way to verify the claim.

That said, Apple has long-been rumoured to be working on its own augmented reality device. CEO Tim Cook has previously expressed his appreciation for the technology in interviews.

He previously told analysts: “AR can be really great, and we have been and continue to invest a lot in this. We are high on AR for the long run. We think there are great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity.”

For now, there’s nothing concrete, but watch this space for more in the near future.

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Let us know what you think of Scoble’s update in the comments.

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