Apple headset: trademark application for "RealityOS", launch soon?
Just before WWDC 2022, there is a new hint about Apple's XR glasses. Will Apple unveil its first XR headset at the developer conference?
Rumors about a mixed reality headset from Apple have been around for years. According to recent reports, mass production will start this summer, and the headset is expected to hit the market in late 2022 or early 2023. The device was recently presented to the Apple board - a sign that the launch is getting closer.
The headset is said to operate self-contained, handle augmented reality via video passthrough in addition to virtual reality, and be equipped with high-end technology, including high-resolution OLED microdisplays and custom-built Apple chips. It will reportedly cost between $2,000 and $3,000 and is thus aimed at professionals, developers and companies.
Apple's AR headset has been in the works for many years. A recent two-part disclosure report summarizes the headset's chaotic development history through 2018 and from 2018 to the present.
Apple could protect "RealityOS" through a shell company
Twitter user Parker Ortolani has found a new hint that the device will be launched soon. He found U.S. trademark applications for "RealityOS," Apple's presumed headset operating system.
Rumors of a new, XR-specific operating system date back to 2017. Then, in early 2022, concrete references to "rOS" appeared in Apple's code.
It cannot be a coincidence that the "realityOS" trademark owned by a company that seemingly doesn't exist and is specifically for "wearable computer hardware" is being filed around the world on June 8, 2022 https://t.co/myoRbOvgJa + https://t.co/AH97r95EMn pic.twitter.com/uvsiZCj2rR
- Parker Ortolani (@ParkerOrtolani) May 29, 2022
The trademark protection was filed by a company called Realityo Systems, which Ortolani believes is a shell company of Apple.
The move follows an established pattern: Apple has previously used shell companies like "Yosemite Research" to trademark operating system names without detection.
Yosemite Research and Realityo Systems are registered at the same address: the location of a company that provides trademark services for Apple. A coincidence?
Apple headset: unveiling at WWDC unlikely
The trademark application covers a wide range of categories, including "wearable computer hardware." It was filed in late 2021, just before RealityOS began showing up in Apple code.
The application states that Realityo Systems has not registered any other trademarks and has not released any product bearing the RealityOS name. According to the filing, the name is for an unreleased product.
June 8, 2022 is the deadline to file an international trademark application with the U.S. government. That's two days after WWDC 2022. Ortolani speculates that Apple could transfer the brand name from the shell company to itself after the announcement. This is how the company has acted before, he said.
The well-known Apple leaker Mark Gurman assumes that the date is a pure coincidence. He thinks it is unlikely that the Apple headset will be unveiled next week, but could imagine a preview of RealityOS and upcoming VR and AR features.