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The big picture: Recent trademark filings suggest Apple is inching closer to launching its first mixed reality headset. The visor is not expected to ship until sometime next year at the earliest, so it seems unlikely that Apple will announce it at next week's iPhone 14 media event. First-gen hardware could also be very expensive and limit the platform's reach until more affordable successors arrive.
According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple shell companies recently filled out trademark applications in the US, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica and Uruguay for names including Reality Processor, Reality One and Reality Pro.
Apple has historically relied on shell companies and law firms to help maintain its veil of secrecy over products that have not been announced. The company in question, Immersive Health Solutions LLC, was reportedly incorporated in February, and was registered by another shell corporation called Corporation Trust Co.
Patently Apple was able to track down several of the trademark applications in the US and Hong Kong for those interested in a deeper dive.
It cannot be a coincidence that the "realityOS" trademark owned by a company that seemingly doesn't exist and is specifically for "wearable computer hardware" is being filed around the world on June 8, 2022 https://t.co/myoRbOvgJa + https://t.co/AH97r95EMn pic.twitter.com/uvsiZCj2rR— Parker Ortolani (@ParkerOrtolani) May 29, 2022
It is widely believed that realityOS will be the name of the operating system that runs the mixed reality platform. Reality Processor makes sense for the name of the chip powering the platform, and Reality One or Reality Pro could be what Apple calls the headset itself.
The high-end wearable likely will not come cheap, either, and could land anywhere between $2,000 and $3,000. At that price point, Apple runs the risk of not making much of a splash in the consumer space and pushing it more towards enterprise clients a la Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap. Conversely, they would at least get their foot in the door and lay the foundation for more mainstream-priced successors to come later this decade.