Apple is rumoured to be venturing into augmented/mixed reality along with Carl Zeiss AG. The information comes from a tech blogger named Robert Scoble who noticed the surprisingly empty booth of Carl Zeiss in the middle of the AR/VR section at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.

“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). I hear Meta is getting ready to announce same with Lumus, the optic folks. And that explains why there was no augmented reality in Zeiss’s booth even though it was right in the middle of the AR area,” said Robert Meta is getting ready to announce same with Lumus, the optic folks. And that explains why there was no augmented reality in Zeiss’s booth even though it was right in the middle of the AR area,” said Robert Scoble in a Facebook post.

Zeiss is best-known as a for developing high-end optical systems used in a range of applications from photolithography for chip manufacture to camera lenses. They previously developed their own smartphone-paired VR headset called the VR One Plus.

Over the past year, reports have surfaced about Apple quietly making a push into the virtual reality and augmented reality space. CEO of Apple Tim Cook on numerous occasions has stated his preference of an AR interface over virtual reality.

“Augmented reality will take some time to get right, but I do think that it’s profound. We might … have a more productive conversation, if both of us have an AR experience standing here, right?” said Tim Cook in an interview.

Adding further fodder to the claim, Apple has applied for a number of patents with the US Patent and Trademark Office in the recent past. In 2014, the company patented the “Transparent electronic device” and the “Head-Mounted Display Apparatus For Retaining A Portable Electronic Device With Display” in 2016. Both patents point to a device that relays images which are to be placed on the head.

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