German optics company Carl Zeiss and Deutsche Telekom made a joint bet on augmented reality smart glasses, having recently founded a startup dedicated to researching and developing such solutions. Established as Tooz Technologies, the company will be targeting a wide variety of customers with its products, with its founders expecting the solutions to be marketed to both consumers and enterprise clients. It’s presently unclear whether the startup is planning to deliver a pair of glasses that unifies a wide variety of AR applications into a single hardware package with support for third-party apps or if the company is instead seeking to develop multiple models of smart glasses, each targeted at different use cases and featuring unique hardware.
Tooz Technologies will be headquartered in Aalen, Germany, in addition to opening at least one office in the United States. DT and Zeiss already confirmed the AR glasses intended to be produced by the startup will boast support for cellular connectivity and while not many details on the matter have yet been provided, Tooz Technologies is likely to immediately start designing devices with 5G capabilities. With the first implementable 5G standard being completed late last year, wireless carriers, network equipment manufacturers, and device makers are all already able to experiment with the technology on their path to enabling the next generation of connectivity. DT has extremely high hopes for 5G and is planning to use the upcoming wireless revolution as an opportunity to diversify its product and service portfolio and turn at least some of its enterprise clients into full-fledged partners, according to its previous statements. A joint venture with Zeiss that’s meant to pursue Internet-enabled AR glasses is in line with such a long-term strategy.
Zeiss will be contributing its optics expertise to the new startup, while DT will make its wireless solutions available to the company. Ultimately, Tooz Technologies is seeking to improve on the concept of smart glasses by creating connected eyewear that’s lighter and significantly more energy-efficient than the currently available wearables. AR as a whole is still in its infancy but is expected to be generating tens of billions of dollars of revenue half a decade from now, whereas many electronics manufacturers and wireless carriers believe its potential is even greater when paired with the extremely high data rates, massive capacities, and ultra-low latencies promised by 5G.