ZEISS, the German optical systems manufacturer, announced it’s acquired majority share of the joint venture Tooz Technologies, an AR/VR optics creator founded by Zeiss and Deutsche Telekom in 2018.

Zeiss and Deutsche Telekom previously had an even 50% stake in Tooz, which has functioned as a sort of AR optics skunkworks for the companies. Zeiss is now sole owner of the startup.

Zeiss says Tooz will continue to exist independently as it focuses on serial production and visual correction in its imaging systems, further calling Tooz its “AR/VR competence center.”

Image courtesy Tooz Technologies, ZEISS Group

Today, Tooz principally creates smart lenses that integrate curved, reflective waveguides and “invisible” combiners that can also be sandwiched into a vision correction layer.

“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,” the company say in a press statement.

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“tooz covers specific competencies and technologies for design, engineering and manufacturing processes, which complement the existing capabilities at ZEISS quite well,” says Gerrit Schulte, Head of Zeiss Ventures. “tooz will benefit in particular from production and process know-how and the significant experience in the approval of medical optics, and is slated to be better positioned on the international market in the future.”

While Zeiss isn’t a household name is VR or AR headsets, the Oberkochen, Germany-based company has produced a number of head-mounted devices in the past, including its Zeiss VR One Plus created in the vein of Samsung Gear VR and Carl Zeiss Cinemizer multimedia glasses. Zeiss also creates aftermarket VR prescription lenses, sold through VR Optician.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Arno van Wingerde

    “While Zeiss isn’t a household name is VR or AR headsets”: OK absolutely true.
    However, it is arguably the #1 in optics. I wouldn’t look for them to design a new processor or controller, but if anybody can find a way to get a projection into a “normal” set of glasses, these guys would be somewhere at the top of the list.

  • Rudl Za Vedno

    Zeiss interested in VR/AR is awesome news for the industry. These guys make some of the best optics in the world. Maybe we’ll finally get some decent lenses in VR headsets.

    • Shuozhe Nan

      Would be surprised if they hadn’t supply any vr stuffs yet. They had the zeiss one google cardboard thingy, and owns vroptician/vroptiker.

  • Brian

    They have the right approach…Bulky headsets are never going to go mainstream.

    • Mradr

      They already have LOL

  • Prez Covfefe

    I just want to remind each and everyone, that Zeiss betrayed basically all its buyers with the VR One Headset: It was Proclaimed to enable us to stream and play our PC games onto a mobile phone. Hell, they even promoted the the VR One remote controllers (that never came out btw). They just stopped talking about it, and so did the media. Shame!

  • Christian Schildwaechter

    This is missing the reason why Zeiss took over the shares. It could mean both that Zeiss wants to go more into AR/VR, or that Deutsche Telekom, which was the much bigger technological partner, wanted to get out of AR/VR. Zeiss is a supplier of high end optics, and thus valuable for manufacturers of XR HMDs, but Deutsche Telekom is a broadly positioned technology enterprise group with very deep pockets, selling millions of mobile devices and investing billions into infrastructure each year, and thus could have had a much bigger impact on the success of AR/VR.