Although virtual reality headsets have (moderately) taken off much faster than their mixed reality smartglasses counterparts, and Google’s commercial stumbles in the latter market may serve as a cautionary tale for fellow tech veterans and big-name rivals, it looks like Microsoft, Qualcomm and even Apple are still keen to give AR hardware a try.

Yes, that seemingly unfounded rumor about a Cupertino-made pair of augmented reality goggles a couple of months back picks up a little more steam today, thanks to the investigative work of blogger, technology evangelist, author, and consultant for the immersive media world Robert Scoble.

Scoble first sniffed there was something going on at Carl Zeiss’ CES 2017 booth last week, when the German company’s employees “smiled nervously” at a Tim Cook joke meant to justify the absence of mixed reality optics prototypes, despite the lens specialist’s occupancy of an exhibition space dedicated to AR.

After doing some digging, the journalist was purportedly able to confirm speculation that Apple and Carl Zeiss AG are working on a “light pair of augmented reality/mixed reality glasses that may be announced this year.”

An obviously unnamed Zeiss employee is cited as the “confirmation’s” source, and while Apple has a reputation for dragging out the R&D process of avant-garde products like this one sounds, all signs start to point to a 2017 release. No concrete evidence however, so let’s keep our expectations pragmatically low.

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