Apple’s Reality One, Reality Pro, and realityOS: Release Date, Specs, Features & More!
Here’s what we know about Apple’s rumored AR glasses and realityOS operating system.
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Here’s what we know about the rumored mixed reality headset – or the Apple VR & AR glasses – and reality OS operating system.
The Apple VR Headset seems to be one of those new exciting products that are constantly thrown around the rumor mill but never actually released. Apple VR headset hearsay has become almost an industry in itself, with hundreds of articles popping up each week relating to the what, why, when, and how of all things relating to Apple’s headset.
One thing we can be certain of is that Apple VR is being thoroughly developed, and it is something the company has been throwing lots of money, time, and effort into. They are taking this very seriously indeed. Whenever the Apple VR product is launched, we can be certain of something quite special. Today, we are going to look at the latest rumors and Apple news to see if we can offer anything more concrete.
Before doing that, we should quickly note that with no official statements, the exact product offering is yet to be determined. The original assumption (going back a year or two) was that an Apple VR headset was being engineered, but it is looking more likely that an AR VR headset will be released with an augmented reality approach, using a digital crown (similar to the Apple watch) to switch between VR / AR.
Through this article, we will refer to this unannounced mixed reality headset as either the Apple VR headset or the AR VR headset. Whatever the terminology, we are referring to the same thing: VR headsets of some description.
Virtual Reality Trademark Clues?
Either way, owing to recent trademark filings, it looks like the long-rumored augmented reality device, commonly referred to as Apple AR or apple VR, is one step closer to release. This week, Bloomberg discovered that various law firms had trademarked the names “Reality One,” “Reality Pro,” and “Reality Processor” in various countries around the world, presumably for the mixed reality headset everyone is expecting. Without stating the obvious too much, rumors suggest these new trademarks are a pretty clear indication that Apple VR & AR products are on the launch horizon.
Apple sometimes uses law firms to register trademarks for unreleased products so that the trademarks are not linked to Apple prior to a product’s launch. These attempts at discretion are usually made so in vain because the link is always quite glaring to most observers. With so much community buzz surrounding Apple VR and AR products, keeping their progress away from public gossip is almost impossible.
This has, of course, added much fuel to the fire in the Apple community, especially when considering the discovery of previous trademark filings, showing that a company related to Apple has filed for the “realityOS” trademark.
While these ‘reality’ trademarks do not necessarily mean Apple is on the cusp of releasing its long-rumored mixed reality headset, the trademark does seem to suggest Apple is in the final stretch of its development. In other words, the products that most Apple consumers are excited about – the Apple VR headset and Apple AR offering – are imminent in terms of launch.
Depending, that is, on your definition of ‘imminent.’ We could be a few years away yet from seeing fully functional Apple VR or AR tech flying off the shelves.
Here’s everything we know about realityOS and the forthcoming Apple VR & AR mixed reality headset.
What Is realityOS?
With the rumored launch of the Apple mixed reality headset, rumors suggest that realityOS will be the OS driving this new virtual reality technology. Apple does have a reputation for making every effort to disguise product development, but as already noted, they usually leave a trail of clues behind them which, when added together, make it fairly easy to figure out what stage they are at.
With the recent trademark applications, Apple’s headset seems to be at the final stage of development – or at the very least, they are making good ground.
While Apple has not yet confirmed the existence of realityOS or the mixed reality headset, rumors, leaks, and general industry whispers all point towards the AR VR headset delivering a new level of immersiveness, blending the mixed reality physical and virtual worlds seamlessly.
Again, speculation is always rife with any new Apple product – and never less so than with Apple’s imminent AR VR headset – but there are a few things we can be confident in speculating.
Cutting Edge Mixed Reality Headset
RealityOS is anticipated to have a number of essential augmented reality or ‘mixed reality’ capabilities, including the capacity to track and understand user hand gestures and movements, enabling more intuitive and natural interactions with virtual items. Moreover, eye-tracking technology is said to be a component of the system, allowing users to operate the headset simply by gazing at items. In addition to eye-tracking, there will also, of course, be hand-tracking, as is the case with all VR products.
The usage of the spatial audio, which can make virtual sound sources seem as though they are emanating from specific locations in the physical environment, is another rumored feature of realityOS. This can heighten the feeling of immersion and give virtual reality a more real-life appearance.
All things considered, realityOS is anticipated to play a significant role in Apple’s mixed reality headset, enabling a variety of cutting-edge and captivating experiences that blur the lines between the real and virtual worlds – or at least, that is the hope. RealityOS appears to be a major player in the future of augmented reality and mixed reality technologies, though we’ll have to wait for an official announcement from Apple to be sure.
RealityOS and various whispers about a stunning new mixed reality headset have been rumored for years – going as far back as 2017, reports MacRumors. It’s been known internally at Apple as “Oak” and has also been known as “rOS.” But as MacRumors also notes, “realityOS” has been accidentally referenced in update logs by Apple earlier in 2022.
What Is Reality One & Reality Pro?
Reality One and Reality Pro are almost certainly the names for two different versions of the Apple VR/AR headset. Rumors suggest they will run realityOS.
With this exciting new mixed reality headset, Apple is poised to cause a stir in the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) markets. Rumors say that the Apple VR/AR device will be available in two different versions: Reality One and Reality Pro.
Although the specifics of these two models are still unknown, it is likely that they will cater to various audiences.
The Reality One headset is anticipated to be a more user-friendly product that offers a variety of immersive virtual reality experiences that combine the real and virtual worlds. This might encompass games, educational software, and various other virtual reality exploits and escapades. The headset is probably going to be made with the user’s comfort and ease of usage in mind, enabling prolonged use without pain.
If this is the case, Apple could release a consumer version of its augmented reality headset and then another Apple headset with more advanced features aimed at professionals. However, it’s also possible that Apple’s headset, apparently, might come in just one model, and the company just hasn’t decided yet whether it will be called Reality One or Reality Pro headset.
What Is the Reality Processor?
The Processor is likely the name of the chipset that will power the Apple VR/AR virtual reality AR VR headset. Bloomberg says the name “could refer to a specialized chip destined for the headset.” It also notes that Apple “is planning to use an M2 system-on-a-chip with 16 gigabytes of memory for the device, but it may need additional processing technology to handle high-resolution AR VR headset graphics.”
What this means is that Apple’s AR VR headset may very well be powered by a chip that is at least as powerful as the M2 chip, which is found in the new MacBook Air. However, it could (and likely will be) even better at advanced graphics processing in order to handle the intense processing power associated with augmented reality glasses.
Instead of Wi-Fi 6, which is found in the current array of iPhone 14 devices, the Apple headset is most likely to have Wi-Fi 6E. That would mean lower latency and greater data speeds thanks to the opening up of a new 6GHz band. That would seem quite logical, given the demanding nature of the content delivered to VR headsets.
Why Could Apple’s Headset Announcement Be Near?
Many people now think a realityOS announcement could be near because trademarks have recently been discovered by Parker Ortolani for the “realityOS” name. However, these trademarks were not filed by Apple but by a company called Realityo Systems LLC, reports 9to5Mac.
So why do people think realityOS is related to Apple then if Realityo Systems LLC registered the trademarks? As 9to5Mac notes, Apple frequently uses shell companies to register its trademarks in order to retain secrecy around unannounced products:
“For instance, one of Apple’s shell companies is “Yosemite Research LLC,” which Apple uses to register macOS names like Yosemite and Big Sur. Last year, this company registered the trademark “Monterey” days before WWDC 2021, and it turned out that Monterey was the official name of macOS 12.
“And here’s the best part. Both Yosemite Research LLC and Realityo Systems LLC are registered at the same address, which points to “Corporation Trust Center” – a real company that provides trademark services of which Apple is a client.”
But 9to5Mac notes that even more evidence has been found that suggests the realityOS trademark is actually Apple’s. Specifically, trademarks for “realityOS” have been filed in other countries, and those trademarks show the “realityOS” logo. That logo is in Apple’s proprietary San Francisco typeface.
It should be noted that these realityOS trademarks have a capitalized “R,” but Apple will probably stick with the lowercase branding of the OS when it is released, as it does for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.
Apple VR Guessing Game
Again, we should stress that despite the rumors and leaks, this is all still very much speculation. The Apple VR headset is looking increasingly likely to arrive as more of a mixed-reality headset. Regardless of the speculation, these trademark filings – while not officially linked to Apple’s VR headset – are an indication that a launch is getting closer.
But when? Stitching together everything we have, it is our best guess that Apple engineers are at the final stage of development and will be releasing a product sometime in early 2023; fingers crossed.
What Are the Features Of realityOS?
No one knows what features realityOS will have. But we can make some assumptions. realityOS will almost certainly be an app-based operating system, allowing users to install additional apps, similar to the iPhone. This means realityOS will almost certainly feature an app store.
RealityOS is also likely to focus on augmented reality (AR) instead of virtual reality (VR). In augmented reality, users can see through a device (like smart glasses) into the real world, with the operating system overlaying digital objects on top of the real world. But it is possible realityOS could also have a VR mode, using a digital crown to switch between the two (where the real world is not visible at all) or allow for VR apps. Alternatively to a digital crown, special hand gestures might provide some kind of switch.
Several external cameras, which are presently being utilized to test features like hand-tracking and gesture control, will likely be a part of the AR VR headset. One aspect of this is the potential for using a virtual keyboard to type in the air – a highly innovative tech unseen with previous iterations of VR headsets, such as Google Glass. Apple’s VR headset (or mixed reality headset) could be the first to provide this type of tech.
Up to 15 cameras —eight for augmented reality, one for environmental sensing, and six for biometrics—could be present, and at a minimum, you can expect at least a dozen cameras. Regardless of how many external cameras there are, it is clear that Apple is treating the headset’s camera situation seriously.
It is also widely speculated that Apple will not pay too much attention to games for its AR/VR headset. Given how early adopters are sometimes drawn to things like gaming, that decision sounds odd, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise since Apple has never really intended to get into the gaming industry, and it’s unlikely their strategy will alter with the AR VR headset. media consumption is expected to play a big part in the device, however.
It is also thought that Apple’s AR headset will have a robust built-in battery pack and decent battery life, along with an optional external battery. Given the sheer levels of processing power at play here, you would imagine a hefty battery pack would be a prerequisite, given the propensity for short battery life with previous AR tech.
What Devices Will realityOS Run On?
RealityOS is expected to only run on the as-yet-unannounced Apple glasses. However, the realityOS operating system may be reliant on being tied to an iPhone. In that case, realityOS will still not run on the iPhone, but its OS will be dependent on working with Apple’s smartphone.
It is also presumed that the new operating system will allow for synchronization to the Apple watch in some way (through an app) with possible connections to the Apple TV and other Apple devices. Using it as an external display on a Mac has long been removed. Synchronization to a wide range of devices looks quite likely, based on rumors that there will be no external pointing devices or controls -the idea being that you use voice, an iPad or iPhone, or Mac keyboard for text input.
Apple AR Headset Tester “Blown Away” By Demo
In what seems to be very good news for those worried Apple’s AR headset endeavors wouldn’t be any more awe-inspiring than those AR headsets already on the market, a person who recently got to try out Aple’s AR headset was reportedly “blown away” by how much Apple has improved it since the tester last tried it.
That’s according to a report from MacRumors, which cites a tweet by leaker Evan Blass (tweet protected). Bass reportedly revealed that they have been in contact with someone who has demoed Apple’s AR headset multiple times. At first, the tester wasn’t impressed, but now? “The leap they’ve made since [late last year] is giant,” MacRumors reports the tester told Blass. “I was so skeptical; now I’m blown away in a ‘take my money kind of way’.”
This is likely very good news in that it means Apple has actually made an AR device that surpasses what other companies have done before. Of course, we’ll have to see the device for ourselves before we can feel that Apple may have another era-defining product on its hands.
The latest reports say the Apple AR headset will be unveiled at WWDC23.
When Will realityOS Launch?
This is the big question. Originally rumors suggested Apple’s smart glasses – and thus its operating system – would launch in 2022. The recent trademark filings suggest Apple could at least be set to preview it this year, though time is running out.
However, other rumors point to a delayed release sometime in 2023. For now, no one knows for certain when realityOS will launch, but our best guess would be around that time, give or take.
Speculation and general gossip started to emerge in January this year that Apple glasses will be unveiled at a special event led by Apple CEO Tim Cook in the spring of 2023. There won’t be too many products at the event, but the mixed-reality headset is widely believed to be the main draw. As of yet, of course, there is no confirmation of this.
How Much Will the Apple Headset Cost?
Again, we can only speculate, although we have a pretty good idea of what price Apple’s device will retail at approximately. AR glasses, in general, are not known for being particularly light on the pocket, and new IOS products usually launch at the higher end of the budget.
Apple’s VR offering is cutting-edge technology, after all, and with all new-to-market iOS devices selling in vast numbers, there is no motivation for Apple to reduce its margins on this. We estimate that entry into this new virtual world will cost somewhere in the region of $2500, give or take a few hundred bucks.
Adding predicted optional extras to the new AR glasses, such as an optional external battery pack, physical keyboard, remote controls (if any become available, which we don’t expect), or any other suggested apple VR accessories, will likely bump the price upwards of $3000.
Keep ’em Peeled
With recent developments, leaks, and the whole trademark revelation, we have a feeling there could be something on the horizon quite soon in terms of official announcements. Keep an eye on our news section for the latest and greatest snippets of information, and we will be sure to let you know as soon as we hear anything more concrete.
Either way, after years of theories and guesswork, we are almost there – it won’t be long now before you can get your mitts on this state-of-the-art wearable device, so make sure you stay tuned for anything breaking!
It’s likely the headset could be previewed at WWDC23.