Apple's upcoming mixed reality headset could reportedly be launched in 2023 and make its debut in the US first. While the headset is not expected to be announced at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that begins today, Apple is expected to lay the groundwork for the upcoming wearable device, that is said to feature support for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) content. The firm has also teamed up with Hollywood directors to create video content for the mixed reality headset, according to another report.
While the Cupertino company is expected to announce significant updates to its iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS operating systems at its WWDC 2022 keynote event today, the arrival of its upcoming mixed reality headset is unlikely to take place, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman states in his Power On newsletter. However, after the company previewed the device for its board of directors last month, Apple could drop clues about the headset at WWDC 2022 — and the device could hit stores in the US first in 2023, according to Gurman.
Two trademarks for RealityOS were previously registered with the US Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a seemingly non-existent company called Realityo Systems LLC, according to an older report. The trademarks were filed under categories including, design and development of computer hardware, software, peripherals, computer and video games, and wearable computer hardware. According to Gurman, the company first registered for the realityOS name in Liechtenstein in June 2021 — as the company can use a treaty to file for a trademark in the US with priority registration within six months.
Over the past few months, Apple has reportedly been working on a new set of VR- and AR-powered Apple apps and services along with new input methods. Apple has also been working on a new platform for third party developers. The company also recently added support for Spatial Audio and VR video support to both Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro. According to Gurman, Apple is also working on adding support for body tracking, hand-based typing and Siri access to third-party apps as part of the development platform for the headset.
Meanwhile, developers could get a new version of SwiftUI for building AR and VR apps, which is predicted to work with RealityKit and Metal. Another environment for developers could allow for simulating the headset and their applications, before they get access to the device itself, according to the report. The headset's operating system could be called realityOS according to previous reports, and Apple is working on updating its apps with mixed reality features — Maps, Notes and Calendar could get VR versions, while FaceTime could be updated to scan a person's face and copy movements with Memoji, according to Gurman.
In addition to developing apps and services for its upcoming mixed reality headset, Apple is also working with Hollywood directors to develop video content for headset, according to a report by the New York Times citing people familiar with the matter. The Cupertino company is reportedly working with directors such as Jon Favreau to develop content for the mixed reality headset, for the Prehistoric Planet series on Apple TV+. The report states that Favreau will be “working to bring that show's dinosaurs to life on the headset, which looks like a pair of ski goggles and aims to offer virtual- and augmented-reality experiences.”
According to the report, Apple is expected to launch the mixed reality headset in 2023, as the company has faced challenges related to battery power. Work on the mixed reality technology has also led to the resignation of two members from the industrial design team over concerns about the product's effect on how people interact with each other. Both Gurman and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo have also predicted that the company will launch the headset next year. Apple, on the other hand, is yet to confirm the existence of the mixed reality headset — details of the headset or its underlying platform could be announced at the WWDC event later today.
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