Apple may have just dropped a big clue about the name of its AR/VR headset

New trademark applications suggest Apple is eyeing particular branding for its AR/VR headset.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Apple logo
Image: Laurenz Heymann

Apple looks to be gearing up for its entry to mixed-reality hardware and could be using the name "Reality" for its headset, according to new trademark filings.

Bloomberg reports that a shell company, linked to law firms Apple has previously used, has filed trademark applications in multiple countries for the names "Reality One", "Reality Pro" and "Reality Processor". 

In December, a shell company connected to Apple filed trademark applications for "RealityOS" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the likely name for the hardware's operating system.

Apple often uses shell companies and law firms to secure the names it wants for unannounced products.

SEE: Apple told staff to return to the office. Its timing couldn't be worse

Apple is expected to launch its new headset in 2023, which would mark the first time in seven years since it's entered a new category and one that puts it in direct competition with Facebook-parent Meta, which in July raised the price of its Quest 2 VR headset by $100 to a starting price of $400

Apple's Reality trademark applications were filed in the US, EU, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica and Uruguay, according to Bloomberg. The applications were filed by Immersive Health Solutions LLC, which was registered by another shell company called Corporation Trust Co.

The first application was filed in Canada in February followed by other countries in August. The connection between the names and Apple is that the iPhone maker has used them to register trademarks in the past. Bloomberg notes that in New Zealand, the firm that applied for the Reality name was Simpson Grierson, which Apple used to file for the corporate name Apple Sales New Zealand. 

The trademark applications, which haven't been approved yet, are not quite confirmation that Apple is the company behind the applications. But there have been persistent rumors that Apple will make its foray into the category for some time, and the use of "Pro" branding is consistent with its premium versions of the iPhone, iPad and MacBook. It also lines up with the previous "realityOS" trademark application and Apple's existing RealityKit, it's software development kit for developers to build AR apps for the iOS and iPadOS. 

According to Bloomberg, Apple has two models it has been testing internally called "N301" – its earliest prototype – and "N602" that could launch next year. There's also a lightweight set of augmented reality glasses codenamed "N421", but these aren't expected to launch until later in the decade. 

Apple's own apps that could be designed for its headset in future would include Apple Maps and FaceTime.   

News of Apple's latest VR move comes on the heels of Meta's forthcoming high-end Quest Pro. Apple's first headset will challenge this model. The Quest Pro, which isn't a successor to the popular Quest 2, is expected to launch in October.    

Editorial standards