Recent reports maintain we may be seeing a mixed reality headset from Apple sometime soon, however it appears the Cupertino tech giant has filed a global trademark for realityOS, its alleged XR operating system, which could suggest we’ll learn more about that and its XR device(s) as early as next week.
The trademark was discovered by Parker Ortolani, a brand licensing manager at Vox Media. As first reported by The Verge, Ortolani’s investigative work points to a possible reveal or mention of realityOS at WWDC’s keynote, taking place June 6th.
The trademark for realityOS, which is supposed to be used with “wearable computer hardware”, wasn’t filed by Apple directly. Instead, it was filed back in December 2021 by an entity called “Realityo Systems LLC”, which seems to have all of the hallmarks of a shell company specifically created to obfuscate the actual trademark holder. In the past, the company has used similar shells to register its successive macOS update names including Yosemite, Big Sur, and Monterey.
As Ortolani points out in a Twitter tread, the trademark was initially filed just two months before “realityOS” began showing up in Apple source code. The June 8th deadline to renew this filing is conveniently slated to take place only two days after the upcoming WWDC keynote.
“Apple typically files trademarks for products announced at WWDC a day or two after the keynote. This would be one helluva coincidence,” Ortolani concludes.
Unless someone is looking for a trademark dispute that they’ll surely lose against Apple, it’s possible we’re seeing the dominoes fall in place for the company to formally announce realityOS, and possibly allude to its first XR headset.
Earlier this month, a report from The Information alleged that Apple showed off a host of AR/VR prototypes to its board as far back as 2016. The report maintained that, more recently, project lead Mike Rockwell and then-Apple hardware designer Jony Ive found themselves in a bit of a tussle when it came to just how the company’s first immersive headset would function. It’s said the headset, codenamed N301, was in the end set to become a standalone headset with VR displays and passthrough AR camera sensors, making it a ‘mixed reality’ headset.
We’ve assembled some of the key takeaways from reports past. Like all things Apple, we’re unable to verify any of the claims below, so please take them with a big grain of salt:
What We (think we) Know About N301 Mixed Reality Headset
- N301 will be a precursor to a long-rumored, full-fledged AR device which may be named Apple Glass
- N301 may pack a dozen cameras for room-scale tracking, hand-tracking, eye-tracking, and passthrough AR
- N301 could cost around $3,000
- Supply chain rumors suggest it includes MicroOLED displays targeting pixel density of 3,000ppi
- “as early as 2022” launch dates for N301 have been reported in the past, however later reports suggest a delay to 2023