But don’t hold your breath for a mention at WWDC 2022.
A few developers, notably Steve Troughton-Smith, discovered references to “realityOS,” the operating system for Apple’s long-rumored virtual and augmented reality headset, at the start of the year. Now, just over a week before the start of WWDC 2022, the name has reappeared in trademark filings that appear to be associated with the company.
Parker Ortolani, a product manager at Vox Media, took to Twitter on Friday to disclose two US Patent and Trademark Office files he discovered by a business called Realityo Systems LLC. As Parker and others have pointed out, there’s evidence that RealityOS was set up by Apple to hide its activities.
The first is the June 8th overseas registration deadline for both trademarks, which occurs just two days after WWDC 2022 begins. Furthermore, Realityo Systems LLC shares the same address as Yosemite Research LLC, the shell business Apple utilized to gain trademarks for previous versions of its macOS operating system, including macOS Monterey, according to 9to5Mac. Another noteworthy piece of evidence is that RealityOS filed trademark applications in various countries that included a realityOS logo written in Apple’s iconic San Francisco typeface.
The filings’ timing suggests Apple is nearing the point where it will feel comfortable disclosing information about its augmented and virtual reality plans. However, we wouldn’t hold our breath for an announcement as soon as next week. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman believes that the business would not have “a full-blown presentation” on its mixed-reality headset at WWDC in his current Power On newsletter. In fact, he adds he would be “wary of expecting” the company to make such an announcement. Due to continued development issues, Gurman earlier speculated that Apple was considering delaying the device’s release until 2023. Despite this, the corporation appears to be pressing through with the initiative.
So far, the narrative doesn’t appear to be that exciting, especially because we already know that Apple internally refers to its AR/VR intentions as realityOS. The key giveaway, however, is the trademarks’ worldwide filing deadline: Apple has just enough time to transfer the trademarks from the shell firm in time for a launch at its summer get-together on June 8, 2022, just two days after WWDC.
This, as Ortolani puts it, “can’t be a coincidence.” All signals point to an announcement next week—or at the very least soon—and what we once thought was an internal pseudonym becoming the official public branding.
The headset has been in development for several years and is expected to integrate features of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). We’ve been writing about Apple’s aspirations in this area since 2017, and pundits were already predicting launch dates (or at least a year) as early as 2018.