Is this what Tim Cook has been teasing?
Apple CEO Tim Cook has made no secret of the fact that the Cupertino company is very interested in the possibilities surrounding augmented reality technology. It now appears that Apple may have a partner to bring its AR vision to the masses.
Carl Zeiss AG, optical specialists whose lenses can be found in all manner of cameras and ophthalmic medical solutions, is said to be teaming up with Apple to bring a pair of mixed-reality spectacles to the market.
This is according to noted AR/VR enthusiast Robert Scoble, who, having scoped out the Carl Zeiss stand at CES’s AR area – without the company having an AR product to show – was able to get a Carl Zeiss employee to confirm Apple’s ties with the company.
Of the two realities – virtual or augmented – Apple has long leaned towards the latter, with Tim Cook disparagingly calling VR an “enclosed experience”.
The company is definitely in need of a new “next big thing”, with its Mac sales disappointing, tablet sales slowing and the iPhone 7 (though successful) not inspiring the rapturous reception of its predecessors.
Augmented reality is a space that’s picking up steam, but yet to have a leading company to bring mass market appeal. Snapchat’s app has proved that the young generation of tech users – and Apple’s potential future customers – are already onboard with AR concepts through stickers and fun lenses, and will hope that its Spectacles will continue its rise in popularity.
However, the might of Apple’s product design and marketing abilities has the potential to overshadow Snapchat’s efforts entirely if successful, courting a whole new generation of customers.