May 31, 2022
virtual reality

Apple's realityOS to be announced at WWDC... maybe


pple’s realityOS to be announced at WWDC…. maybe.

Will realityOS be the future of Apple’s long-awaited XR hardware?

RealityOS — is this the name of Apple’s new VR/AR operating system? A recent trademark filing may point to yes.

Apple has long been developing their mixed reality headset. Reports continue to suggest that we may be seeing their hottest new hardware sometime soon — perhaps even to be announced at the upcoming WWDC ’22 with a release by 2023. And while the hardware release date remains unknown for sure, Vox Media’s Park Ortolani may have just found evidence to confirm a possible reveal or mention of realityOS at WWDC’s keynote, taking place June 6th.

Ortalani did not find realityOS filed directly by Apple, but instead under the likely shell company “Realityo Systems LLC” in December 2021. This tactic — intended to create anonymity — is commonplace in the industry, and specifically has been used by Apple in the past. 9to5Mac reports, using a shell company called “Yosemite Research LLC” to register macOS update names like Yosemite, Big Sur, and Monterey.

And get this! Both Realityo Systems LLC and Yosemite Research LLC are registered at the same address. Coincidence… we think not.

This trademark isn’t the first piece of evidence suggesting realityOS as Apple’s name of choice. Ortolani points out in his Twitter thread, the trademark was initially filed just two months before “realityOS” began showing up in Apple’s softwareas first reported by The Verge earlier this year.

To add to the mounting evidence, 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.

The trademark documentation references “wearable computer hardware” and is said to relate to “design and development of computer hardware, software, peripherals, and computer and video games.” The design and functionality of Apple’s headset has been the source of much speculation dating back to as early as 2015, but most reports suggest that it’ll be able to offer a combination of virtual reality and augmented reality elements to create a true mixed reality experience (XR). XR immerses you in virtual content while also allowing the layering virtual elements over real world environments.

Wondour — a leading design & development consultancy in the VR/AR space — recently revealed their industrial design predictions of what the new headset could look like after extensive review of all available patents leading up to WWDC. These reveal our best guess as to the form factor to expect.

Industrial design concept renderings by Wondour’s lead ID Marcus Kane

Reports earlier this month suggested that Apple’s board of directors reportedly tried out the wearable device. Such review by the board is often seen ahead of a public launch. Back in January, Bloomberg News reported that the headset was set to be released by late 2022. This came on the heals of an announcement at the company’s developer conference. However, based on developer and supply chain challenges, the headset’s launch could now happen in 2023, according to Bloomberg.

While it is often more of an art than a science to predict exactly what Apple will do next, it appears more than ever that we can expect to finally see behind the curtain of Apple’s codenamed “N301” VR/AR/XR headset. To quote our resident optimist Gandalf, “there is always hope”.

This article was written by Wondour — a design & development consultancy with extensive experience in custom virtual reality software, with Top #100 apps in 85 countries, and holders of a variety of patents on VR/XR hardware.