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Trademark for 'realityOS' points to VR, AR at WWDC

Renders of Apple Glass and a mixed-reality headset.

A trademark for "realityOS" has been discovered, a filing that could mean WWDC 2022 will see the launch of Apple's dedicated VR and AR platform.

Apple has been rumored to be working on a VR or AR headset for quite some time, and that hardware needs to run its own operating system. In a patent filing uncovered on Sunday, it seems that the software-side of the device is becoming more real.

Trademark filings for "realityOS were uncovered on Twitter by Parker Ortolani, covering "wearable computer hardware" and a multitude of other areas of computing. While it is possible for anyone to petition for a trademark, there are a number of indicators that point to it being in relation to Apple.

For a start, the filing dates for are suspiciously close to WWDC, with one mentioning a "Foreign Filing Date" for June 8, a deadline that occurs two days after the developer conference's keynote. Ortolani notes that Apple tends to file trademarks for products announced at a WWDC roughly a day or two after the keynote itself, making it "one helluva coincidence."

The pair of filings were also made on December 8, 2021, two months before direct references to "realityOS" surfaced in Apple's code.

The listings are both registered by "Realityo Systems LLC," which incorporated in the state of Delaware on December 3, 2021 via the Corporation Trust Company, which provides "registered agent services." Searches bring up no information about the company's products, aside from its registration and trademark filing.

Apple's culture of secrecy extends to making great efforts to hide launches from being discovered, and that includes related trademarks. The company habitually uses shell companies to hide its registrations, and it seems to be using the same playbook here.

Details of a dedicated operating system for the headset date back to 2017, with a report claiming Apple's headset would have its own display and processor, as well as a new operating system. At the time, that software was called "rOS."

With claims Apple's mixed-reality headset reached an "advanced" stage of development" in May, the trademark filing is one more indicator that it could finally see an introduction soon.

While there is a chance of Apple using WWDC to introduce the headset to developers, in a bid to encourage app development before a release to the public, this isn't Apple's only AR project. ARKit has been around for a few years, providing a way for augmented reality to work on an iPhone or iPad.