ZEISS has acquired the shares of the joint venture tooz technologies, which was founded together with Deutsche Telekom in 2018. ZEISS is thereby responding to the large, growing market potential in the fields of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) glasses.
Until now, each partner held 50% of the shares in the start-up, which develops high-tech optics in the area of augmented reality. ZEISS and Deutsche Telekom thereby pooled their expertise in the fields of optics, optoelectronics and connectivity – three critical factors for realizing market-ready smart glasses. This has proved a success, as evidenced by the development of seamlessly integrated complete solutions for smart glasses over the past years.
“In a challenging and exploratory technological environment, we have achieved all the goals and milestones that we set together with ZEISS and Deutsche Telekom,” says Dr. Kai Ströder, CEO of tooz. “Now is the right time to focus on the unique selling points: serial production and visual correction in imaging systems. We will also retain our start-up organization as part of the ZEISS Group to remain agile in this complex and dynamic technological race.”
As the ZEISS Group’s AR/VR competence center, tooz will further drive the development and integration of optics for augmented reality products completely independently. In the future, tooz will also equip optical systems from other manufacturers of AR/VR optics with prescription lenses to place products with an integrated prescription on the global markets.
“tooz covers specific competencies and technologies for design, engineering and manufacturing processes, which complement the existing capabilities at ZEISS quite well. tooz will benefit in particular from production and process know-how and the significant experience in the approval of medical optics, and will be better positioned on the international market in the future,” says Gerrit Schulte, Head of ZEISS Ventures.
Smart glasses, AR, mixed reality and VR will become part of daily life, for commercial applications but also especially for private use. Due to an increased demand internationally for personalized visual correction, an AR optic with a prescription is an essential customer requirement. The integration of tooz in the ZEISS Group addresses this market need and puts tooz in a stronger starting position.