Technology

What We Know So Far

Apple is usually tight-lipped when it comes to releasing detail on absolutely anything before the ‘thing’ is officially announced. But new reports mentioning trademark filings are re-stirring the buzz for Apple’s rumored VR/AR headset.

Software developers in February unearthed references to “realityOS” in App Store upload logs and GitHub repositories used by Apple. These sightings were posted to Twitter at the time by developers Rens Verhoeven and Steve Troughton-Smith.

In the above tweet are references to a “com.apple.platform.realityos” within the same block of code as an existing platform “com.apple.platform.watchos.”

But new reports say the realityOS name has resurfaced in trademark filings seemingly linked to the company.

Vox Media product manager Parker Ortolani took to Twitter to share two United States Patent and Trademark Office filings he found registered by an unknown company called Realityo Systems LLC. The trademark was filed on December 8, 2021 for categories such as “peripherals”, “software” and “wearable computer hardware.”

While this could be some random company’s trademark, 9to5Mac believes there’s evidence that links this specific trademark to Apple. Realityo Systems LLC shares the same address as Yosemite Research LLC, the shell company Apple used to secure trademarks for past versions of its macOS operating system, including macOS Monterey.

According to reports from earlier this year, Apple wants it known that it isn’t keen on following Meta into the metaverse when its rumored AR headset is released.

In a newsletter from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, we learned Apple has rejected the idea of ​​an all-virtual world for its long-rumoured mixed reality headset. As you all know by now, an all-virtual world is the premise for the metaverse.

According to the report, the very idea of ​​a metaverse-like existence for the VR headset is “off limits”. Instead, it says the focus of Apple’s VR headset would be on short stints of communication, content viewing and gaming.

“Here’s one word I’d be shocked to hear on stage when Apple announces its headset: metaverse,” Gurman wrote in his Power On newsletter. “I’ve been told pretty directly that the idea of ​​a completely virtual world where users can escape to — like they can in Meta Platforms/Facebook’s vision of the future — is off limits from Apple.”

It sounds like Apple CEO Tim Cook won’t follow the lead of Facebook, er, Meta, and just about every other company that has chimed in recently to discuss the ways they can bring us closer to a poorly defined, ill-conceived future where the physical and digital world melt together through the use of VR, AR and mixed reality.

Rumors about Apple’s mixed reality headset have been swirling for over a year.

When we say ‘mixed reality’ this usually means augmented reality/virtual reality. There’s only a number of ways the device can look, but as the device is yet to be officially confirmed, we’re left to assume it will be a VR headset as you know it, but smothered in the Apple feel.

Based on a report from The Information, the headset will include two 8K displays, more than a dozen cameras for hand-tracking, and will retail for upwards of $4,000. The device could also run on multiple processors including one with the power of Apple’s M1 chip, according to trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who also says the headset could support Wi-Fi 6E to offer higher bandwidth and low latency connectivity.

Initial reports indicated you might require an Apple iPhone to enjoy the VR headset, but it seems this will just be the same as any other Apple device: the experience is better with an iPhone, but not a requirement.

Apple’s mixed reality headset could debut as soon as this year, but the rumor mill has also been churning for a while now around potential production delays impacting the rollout. It’s unlikely we’ll hear anything about the VR headset next week during WWDC, but one can dream.

This post has been updated since it was first published and we will continue to make further updates when we learn more.

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