A recent report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman notes that Apple has internally changed the name of the software for its upcoming mixed reality headset from realityOS to xrOS. The change is meant to signify the expanded capabilities of the headset as “extended reality” rather than just mixed reality.
The change signals that Apple is planning to have a mix of features between augmented reality and virtual reality. It is a welcome change, as mixed reality has become a generic industry term and may not signify what Apple is trying to achieve in their new hardware.
Gurman’s evidence stems from the fact that a shell company named “Deep Dive LLC” has trademarked the brand xrOS in the US, and other countries in the European Union and Asia. The trademark specifies the use of the brand for “head-mounted displays” that provide “virtual and augmented reality experiences.”
Earlier this year, similar evidence was found by Vox Media for the term realityOS. The new trademark may mean that Apple is going in a new direction in terms of branding or leaving multiple options open.
Either way, the mixed reality headset from Apple has been long-rumored and it will be interesting to see consumer reaction to the product after it launches. Reception towards VR headsets have not been great lately, as they technology has not developed much in the last 5 years. Even with Meta constantly investing in the technology, their Quest headsets receive mixed feedback with many calling VR a fad.
Apple’s take on a mixed reality headset will be interesting to see. We already have rumors going around that the headset will support apps such as Messages and Maps, and will support in-app purchases via iris scanning build into the headset. Job listings also show that Apple is exploring building a virtual world, such as Meta’s unsuccessful attempts at a “metaverse.”