RealityOS – the name Apple is reportedly using for the operating system running on its rumored virtual and augmented reality headset – has appeared in a trademark filing spotted by Parker Ortolani. Bloomberg News was first to report the “reality operating system” branding back in 2017, and references to the name have appeared in Apple’s software.
The trademark application hasn’t officially been filed by Apple, but it’s common practice for large companies to apply for trademarks under one-off company names – like Realityo Systems LLC, in this case – in the state of Delaware for the sole purpose of maintaining anonymity.
The trademark application is the latest evidence that Apple is on the cusp of announcing its long-rumored headset. It follows the news earlier this month that the company’s board of directors reportedly tried out the wearable device, which is common practice ahead of a public launch. In January, Bloomberg News reported that the headset was originally planned for release in late 2022 after an announcement at the company’s developer conference, but that could be delayed due to development challenges. The headset’s release could now happen in 2023, according to Bloomberg.
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 over the years, but most reports suggest that it’ll be able to offer a combination of virtual reality and augmented reality experiences, immersing you in virtual content as well as layering virtual elements over real world environments.
It’s important to note that the RealityOS trademark hasn’t been applied for by Apple itself, and has instead been registered by a company called “Realityo Systems LLC.” But Ortolani reports that Realityo doesn’t appear to have any public presence, suggesting that it’s a shell company used by the Cupertino-based tech company to hide its involvement. Apple has reportedly taken the same approach in the past, 9to5Mac reports, using a shell company called “Yosemite Research LLC” to register macOS update names like Yosemite, Big Sur, and Monterey.
The kicker? Both Realityo Systems LLC and Yosemite Research LLC are registered at the same address, which heavily implies that Apple is behind them. The RealityOS filings for a trademark and service mark don’t list any examples of the name’s use in public (meaning the product they’re associated with is yet to be released), and they’re also the only two applications associated with Realityo Systems LLC.
The applications have been discovered just days before Apple is due to kick off its annual developer conference next week on June 6th, and are listed with deadlines of June 8th, leading to speculation that we could see the headset announced during Apple’s keynote. But Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman notes that the timing of the June 8th date is likely a coincidence, and coincides with a key legal deadline that comes six months after a trademark is originally filed. “Maybe we’ll see it [at WWDC],” Gurman tweeted, “but the trademark application isn’t evidence of that.”