The ZEISS and Telekom joint venture tooz technologies is on course for success
The developer community is given the opportunity to explore the potential of this next-generation eyewear for day-to-day use and to create new and innovative apps. After a successful introduction in China, the first tooz Smart Glasses for software developers are now available in Germany. Since its foundation in 2018, the joint venture tooz technologies has worked on the further enhancement of its optical system and the integration into a mobile smart glasses solution for consumers.
The international tooz team made the initial joint venture vision a reality: all day glasses with prescription options for consumers, connected seamlessly to a mobile device and enabling innovative use cases in a new ecosystem. Today, tooz can present the next generation of connected glasses: Based on an innovative optical platform, tooz is able to offer cost-effective, seamlessly integrated, and turnkey smart glass solutions.
In May 2021, the start-up launched its first pair of smart glasses for developers, the tooz DevKit in Germany – after a successful launch in China in 2020. By providing a collection of software tools, the developer community is given the opportunity to explore the potential of this next generation eyewear for day-to-day use and to create new and innovative apps.
“The tooz team worked very hard during the development phase last year. Due to the full support of both shareholders, we were able to overcome challenges and restrictions caused by the global situation. Today, we are proud to provide the next generation of our technologies to the community, with a clear hint that there is more to come soon.”, says Dr. Kai Ströder, CEO at tooz.
Innovative companies and institutions like TomTom, adidas Runtastic, Else Kröner Fresenius Center for Digital Health Dresdenand many more are already exploring the tooz smart glasses in conjunction with their existing products, services, and digital solutions. The aim of these collaborations is the development of a new and holistic digital ecosystem and the collection of valuable feedback for the final phase of the tooz product development process. tooz has the clear target to launch a serial product beginning of 2022.
Connected via Bluetooth to a mobile device, tooz smart glasses provide virtual content discreetly and only noticeable in the wearer’s field of view. The centerpiece of the solution is the injection-molded optical engine with its several high-precision free-form surfaces. On basis of this innovation, tooz provides the only curved waveguide lens to the market which allows the integration of correction including individual prescription. Also, UV/sun protection and photochromic options can be integrated, keeping all intended functionalities of current everyday glasses without compromises. The very light, robust, and slim waveguide lenses can be cut and edged in different shapes of frame designs to meet individual style and design preferences of end consumers. In the future, opticians will therefore not only offer glasses with prescription, filters, and coatings, but also the option to upgrade them unobtrusively with smart augmentation provided by tooz.
ZEISS and Deutsche Telekom first announced their collaboration in the development of smart glasses at the Mobile World Congress 2017. By forming the joint venture tooz technologies in 2018, the two powerful corporates merged expertise in optics, optoelectronics and connectivity – critical factors for the success of marketable smart glasses. ZEISS and Telekom have been successfully managing the start-up for more than three years, with each partner holding a 50% stake.
“tooz technologies is a great and successful example why building networks is so important for startups and ventures. In an increasingly dynamic environment the anticipating of customer needs, understanding markets and ecosystems is key to provide the best solution. Especially technology ventures such as tooz benefit from complementary know-how, capabilities, and access to external resources. The partnership with Telekom is a perfect fit and we are convinced other partners will join the tooz network on its fast and focused path to launch scalable consumer smart glass solutions.”, summarizes Gerrit Schulte, Head of ZEISS Ventures.
ZEISS has always been driven by the desire to develop innovative products and services based on a deep understanding of consumers’ needs. With the successful management of tooz technologies, ZEISS makes a significant contribution to the future of smart glasses and displays its leading role in terms of innovation and digitalization.
ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. ZEISS develops, produces, and distributes highly innovative solutions for industrial metrology and quality assurance, microscopy solutions for the life sciences and materials research, and medical technology solutions for diagnostics and treatment in ophthalmology and microsurgery. The name ZEISS is also synonymous with the world’s leading lithography optics, which are used by the chip industry to manufacture semiconductor components. There is global demand for trendsetting ZEISS brand products such as eyeglass lenses, camera lenses, and binoculars. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. The Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the largest foundations in Germany committed to the promotion of science, is the sole owner of the holding company, Carl Zeiss AG.
Tooz technologies GmbH is a joint venture of ZEISS and Deutsche Telekom. With the mission to upgrade normal prescription glasses with digital virtual screens, tooz develops optical engines which enable cost-effective, unobtrusive, and turnkey smart glass solutions. Innovative optical technologies for wearables by tooz unleash a variety of new use cases across industries, in the health sector, and for consumer applications.