WWDC 2022: Apple's top-secret AR/VR headset could make a surprise appearance

Recently filed RealityOS trademarks suggest Apple could unveil details about its augment reality (AR) virtual reality (VR) headset next week.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: Apple

Two recently filed trademarks for 'RealityOS' point to Apple possibly announcing its long-rumored AR/VR headset at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2022.     

The two trademark filings, discovered by Parker Ortolani, add to speculation about Apple's mixed reality headset, which first hit the rumor mill in 2017 and flared up in February after developers noticed references "realityOS" in App Store logs.

Ortolani found a company called Realityo Systems LLC had filed the name 'RealityOS' with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on December 8, 2021. The deadline for "international filing" of the name with the USPTO falls on June 8, 2022 – notably, two days after WWDC 2022 kicks off.

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As 9to5Mac notes, Apple has used shell companies to register trademarks and patents for unreleased products to conceal the filings' origins. For example, Apple used the shell company "Yosemite Research LLC" to register macOS names Yosemite and Monterey before they were announced. 

The link to Apple is that Yosemite Research LLC and Realityo Systems LLC are registered to an address of "Corporation Trust Center", a trademark services firm that counts Apple as a client.

Ortolani detailed his findings on Twitter on Friday. "It cannot be a coincidence that the 'RealityOS' trademark owned by a company that seemingly doesn't exist and is specifically for 'wearable computer hardware' is being filed around the world on June 8, 2022," he wrote. 

The trademarks add fuel to speculation in February after Apple watchers discovered references to realityOS in App Store update logs.

Bloomberg reported on its knowledge of "rOS" in 2017 (with "r" standing for "reality"). Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported Apple had ramped up development of rOS in recent weeks and that an advanced preview of the hardware was recently demonstrated to Apple's board.

If Apple does present the headset to developers at WWDC 2022, the device likely wouldn't be available to consumers until 2023. But Bloomberg's Mark Gurman today said he'd be "wary of expecting a full-blown presentation" of the device next week.   

The AR/VR headset has been in development within Apple's Technology Development Group since 2015 under Apple vice president Mike Rockwell and Apple's former head of hardware engineering, Dan Riccio

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