Here’s what we know about Apple’s rumored AR operating system.
Recent trademark filings reveal that Apple’s long-rumored augmented reality device is one step closer to release. This week trademark filings were discovered that show a company related to Apple has filed for the “realityOS” trademark.
While a realityOS trademark doesn’t mean Apple is on the cusp of releasing its long-rumored augmented reality glasses, the trademark does seem to suggest Apple is in the final stretch of its development.
Here’s everything we know about realityOS…
What Is realityOS?
realityOS is the rumored name of the operating system that will power Apple’s long-rumored augmented reality glasses. In other words, as iOS is to the iPhone, realityOS is to Apple’s AR glasses.
realityOS has been rumored for years – going as far back as 2017, reports MacRumors. It’s been known internally at Apple as “Oak” and has also been known as “rOS”. But as MacRumors also notes, “realityOS” has been accidentally referenced in update logs by Apple earlier in 2022.
Why Could A realityOS Announcement Be Near?
Many people now think a realityOS announcement could be near because trademarks have recently been discovered by Parker Ortolani for the “realityOS” name. However, these trademarks were not filed by Apple, but by a company called Realityo Systems LLC, reports 9to5Mac.
So why do people think realityOS is related to Apple then if Realityo Systems LLC registered the trademarks? Ace 9to5Mac notes, Apple frequently uses shell companies to register its trademarks in order to retain secrecy around unannounced products:
“For instance, one of Apple’s shell companies is “Yosemite Research LLC,” which Apple uses to register macOS names like Yosemite and Big Sur. Last year, this company registered the trademark “Monterey” days before WWDC 2021, and it turned out that Monterey was the official name of macOS 12.
“And here’s the best part. Both Yosemite Research LLC and Realityo Systems LLC are registered at the same address, which points to “Corporation Trust Center” – a real company that provides trademark services of which Apple is a client.”
But 9to5Mac notes that even more evidence has been found that suggests the realityOS trademark is actually Apple’s. Specifically, trademarks for “realityOS” have been filed in other countries and those trademarks show the “realityOS” logo. That logo is in Apple’s proprietary San Francisco typeface.
It should be noted that these realityOS trademarks have a capitalized “R” but Apple will probably stick with the lowercase branding of the operating system when it is released, as it does for iOS, iPad OS, macOS, watch OSand tvOS.
What Are The Features Of realityOS?
No one knows what features realityOS will have. But we can make some assumptions. realityOS will almost certainly be an app-based operating system, allowing users to install additional apps on it like they can on the iPhone.
This means realityOS will almost certainly feature an app store.
realityOS is also likely to focus on augmented reality (AR) instead of virtual reality (VR). In augmented reality, users can see through a device (like smart glasses) into the real world, with the operating system overlaying digital objects on top of the real world.
But it is possible realityOS could also have a VR mode (where the real world is not visible at all) or allow for VR apps.
What Devices Will realityOS Run On?
realityOS is expected to only run on Apple’s as-yet unannounced smart glasses. However, the reality OS operating system may be relevant on being tied to an iPhone. In that case, realityOS will still not run on the iPhone, but its OS will be dependent on working with Apple’s smartphone.
When Will realityOS Launch?
This is the big question. Originally rumors suggested Apple’s smart glasses – and thus its operating system – would launch in 2022. With the recent trademark filings, that suggests Apple could at least be set to preview smart glasses and realityOS at WWDC 2022 in a few weeks.
However, other rumors point to a delayed release sometime in 2023. So, for now, no one knows for certain when realityOS will launch.
apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book by him Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.