New evidence that “RealityOS” is the name of the software powering Apple headset

A trademark filing for “RealityOS” spotted ahead of WWDC has sparked speculation Apple will preview its rumored AR/VR headset in June. But will it, indeed?

A head-worn mixed reality Apple headset device is imagined in this concept
Image credit: Andrea Copellino / Behance
  • A new operating system to power an Apple headset is becoming more real: A trademark for “RealityOS” is scheduled to be filed around the world on June 8.
  • Apple’s WWDC keynote is on June 6. The timing of the upcoming trademark filing has prompted speculation that an Apple headset could be unveiled at WWDC.
  • But others point out that the timing of this trademark is purely coincidental. It’s a legal requirement rather than a WWDC hint, they say.

“RealityOS” is getting more real ahead of WWDC

Parker Ortolani on his Twitter shared a trademark filing for “RealityOS” that is scheduled to be filed internationally on June 8, or two days after Apple’s WWDC keynote. Apple is using a shell company called Realityo Systems LLC to file the trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Filed on December 8, 2021, it conveniently covers “wearable computer hardware,” among other categories.

The timing of the filing certainly appears to strongly suggest that we may get some information about a rumored Apple headset out of the WWDC keynote after all. Other people, on the other hand, say this trademark filing is a legal requirement and not necessarily a hint of any specific WWDC news.

Is “RealityOS” getting an official introduction at WWDC?

From the “it hints at an Apple headset coming soon” camp over at AppleInsider:

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.”

But as 9to5Mac points out, lawyer Jason Manakins on Twitter says the June 8 deadline is purely coincidental. “It’s a legal deadline,” he said. “The Paris Convention requires that any foreign filings based on a first application made in a Convention country be made within 6 months of the date of filing of the first application.”

But what exactly is “RealityOS”?

The “RealityOS” name has been mentioned a lot in Apple headset reporting over the past year or so. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman was first to report, back in 2017, that an Apple headset would run a custom operating system called “RealityOS”, “realityOS” or just “rOS”. Earlier in 2022, a few developers managed to find references to “RealityOS” in App Store upload logs and the company’s open-source code.

It’s too early to speculate whether that means Apple is actively testing a headset with downloadable App Store apps. If rumors are true, Apple has been developing some kind of wearable hardware for augmented reality, virtual reality or mixed reality for years now. Read: How to control macOS cursor with head movement

Taking the Apple tax to the next level

The project has faced multiple setbacks and delays because Apple apparently opted to create a highlight sophisticated device with dual 8K OLED screens, a bunch of internal cameras for the head, eye and hand tracking, and more. The final product that the company is aiming to ship should be very lightweight and technologically advanced. But all that tech is going to cost you dearly, with a headset costing between $2,000 and $3,000. Read: How to use Unsplash for iPhone wallpapers