Apple’s VR headset may launch soon, intriguing leak suggests

Apple’s upcoming mixed-reality headset is largely the worst-kept secret within the tech world at this point. Now, a latest detail has emerged: the operating system powering the device has been internally renamed to “xrOS” at Apple, forsaking the sooner mooted name of “realityOS.” The name change could suggest Apple is gearing up to disclose the headset to the world.

Based on Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the “xr” within the name stands for “prolonged reality,” which is a nod to the headset’s mixed-reality capabilities. It is predicted the headset will offer each virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences, with the previous offering entirely digital games and video, and the latter overlaying virtual elements on top of the actual world.

Antonio De Rosa

Previously, the final understanding amongst Apple followers was that the operating system powering the headset can be called “realityOS,” or perhaps “rOS” for brief. It now appears Apple has appended the latter with an X in a signal towards the headset’s combined VR and AR offering.

Beyond that, Apple may be hoping to show “xr” right into a recognizable brand of sorts, especially if the headset performs well against potential rivals akin to the Meta Quest Pro. Apple already used the initialism within the iPhone XR, although in that case, the letters didn’t actually stand for anything.

A mysterious shell company

A rendering of the potential Apple headset made by The Information.A rendering of the potential Apple headset made by The Information.

Gurman added that the “xrOS” name was trademarked by “a secretive shell corporation named Deep Dive LLC” in several countries around the identical time because the name change occurred internally at Apple. That company is now looking for to secure the trademark within the US.

While it is just not known whether Apple is behind Deep Dive LLC, whether it is, it could possibly be an indication that Apple is planning to make use of the “xrOS” name publicly and never just as an internal code name. Apple often uses shell corporations to register its trademarks, akin to with the names of macOS releases, so such a move wouldn’t be unprecedented.

Nevertheless, there are a number of clues linking Apple to the trademark claims. Based on Gurman, the claims come under the classifications of “head-mounted displays” and devices that provide “virtual reality and augmented reality experiences.” Intriguingly, those are the identical categories that were used when the name “realityOS” was trademarked in 2021, and Gurman states he has been able to substantiate that name was indeed trademarked by Apple.

Rumors suggest Apple’s mixed-reality headset could possibly be announced as soon as January 2023, with a product launch following within the second quarter of the 12 months. Apple is predicted to go all-out with this device, equipping it with a big array of advanced cameras, 8K displays for every eye, hand-tracking capabilities, and a high price tag in comparison with rivals.

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