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.
ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. In the previous fiscal year, the ZEISS Group generated annual revenue totaling 8.8 billion euros in its four segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology and Consumer Markets (status: 30 September 2022).
For its customers, 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.
With a portfolio aligned with future growth areas like digitalization, healthcare and Smart Production and a strong brand, ZEISS is shaping the future of technology and constantly advancing the world of optics and related fields with its solutions. The company's significant, sustainable investments in research and development lay the foundation for the success and continued expansion of ZEISS' technology and market leadership. ZEISS invests 13 percent of its revenue in research and development – this high level of expenditure has a long tradition at ZEISS and is also an investment in the future.
With over 38,000 employees, ZEISS is active globally in almost 50 countries with around 30 production sites, 60 sales and service companies and 27 research and development facilities (status: 30 September 2022). 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.