New bits of information related to Apple upcoming mixed reality headset signal that the device’s launch is near. Bloomberg reports that Apple has ramped up work on its first-generation mixed reality headset and as the device will offer a combined Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) experience, its operating system will be called “xrOS”.
Rumor mills claims that Apple is going to launch the new device in early 2023 which will be the first new product category since the launch of Apple Watch in 2015. Unlike the existing AR/VR headsets in the market, Apple’s upcoming mixed reality headset is designed for gaming, watching video, communication and navigation purposes and will feature a complete ecosystem with native and third-party apps.
Apple trademarks “xrOS” name for mixed reality headset software in various countries
Previously, it was claimed that the new mixed reality headset’s operating system will be called “realityOS” or “rOS”. Now, the company has rebranded the software to “xrOS” to aptly represent its “extended reality” capabilities.
“XR” stands for extended reality, a term that encompasses both augmented and virtual reality. Augmented reality overlays graphics and virtual information over the real world, while virtual reality is an all-encompassing experience for gaming and watching video.
The new name appeared in trademark filings in several countries made by Deep Dive LLC, a secretive shell corporation. After it applied for the name in Switzerland, the company expanded registration to UK, Malaysia, Mexico, Ukraine, Philippines, Australia, Japan, Canada and others, and is also trying to secure it in the United States. As per the report, Apple usually follows the same modus operandi to trademark names.
Trademarking a name via a shell company in several foreign countries follows Apple’s usual stratey for establishing a brand, though the decision to start in Switzerland is somewhat out of character. Apple typically files for trademarks in countries like Jamaica, Liechtenstein or Trinidad and Tobago, which don’t easily allow the public to peruse registrations.
Allegedly, the new headset and its OS are developed by company’s secretive unit led by executive Mike Rockwell called Technology Developement Group. The xrOS will reportedly offer new versions of native apps like Apple Maps, Messages, and third-party apps and games.
The operating system has been overseen by Geoff Stahl, a senior engineering manager and nearly 24-year Apple veteran who has led work on gaming and graphics software.
Recent job listings revealed that Apple is looking to create its own 3D-based “mixed-reality world.” People with knowledge of the company’s plans have said the device will offer virtual collaboration tools and a VR version of FaceTime, rivaling services like Zoom and Meta’s Horizon Workrooms. Apple recently enlisted the head of engineering for its iWork productivity apps, Notes app and Apple News to work on the headset.