realityOS trademark tips possible Apple VR headset reveal at WWDC 2022

apple mixed reality headset render
(Image credit: Ian Zelbo)

Update: Ming-Chi Kuo has refuted these rumors, claiming Apple isn't likely to show off the headset so far ahead of launch

Could Apple be planning on finally giving us a look at its long-rumored AR/VR headset at WWDC 2022 in early June? New evidence suggests that some kind of reveal may be on the cards, even if it’s just a teaser.

Word comes from Vox Media’s Parker Ortolani (opens in new tab), who spotted a trademark for RealityOS while digging around Trademarkia.

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Expanded on in his Substack (opens in new tab), the trademark (opens in new tab) is for “wearable computer hardware” with no proof of use, with a foreign filing deadline of Wednesday June 8. That just so happens to be two days after the keynote talk at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC).

As Ortolani notes, the company involved “seemingly doesn’t exist” suggesting it’s a shell entity created to obfuscate the true owner of a trademark. Sure enough, he later revealed that the corporation in question happened to have the same address used to earmark macOS names:

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Notably, said trademark was originally filed in December, around two months before “realityOS” began to show up in Apple’s source code.  

After sharing his find, a follower also discovered another filing in Uganda where a logo was on full display, and the font looks very familiar too.

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To be clear, an imminent reveal would come as something of a surprise, given only last month reports were suggesting the Apple AR/VR headset would be delayed until 2023

This pessimism was echoed by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who said that the plan was originally for WWDC, but that it would slip to the end of the year or next year, based on references in iOS 16.  

But it’s important to remember that WWDC is a developer conference, and the one thing a new piece of hardware needs to gain momentum is compelling software. Perhaps we’ll get a very early look intended to inspire the developers in attendance to begin making their AR/VR dreams a (virtual) reality.

Ortolani himself is hedging his bets on whether it’ll appear, given Apple hasn’t released a new flagship product at WWDC before. “Maybe we’ll see it on June 6th and maybe we won’t,” he tweeted (opens in new tab). “I’m not gonna make a bet either way. But there sure is a helluva lot going on.”

You can read more about his discovery on Ortolani's substack (opens in new tab)

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.