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Apple gives up on ‘Reality,’ but still wants to extend it


While we must wait and see what the tangible enterprise benefits of Apple’s next big product introduction will be, the company has given up on Reality when it comes to the name of the operating system that drives its mixed/augmented reality glasses, according to a new report. 

No longer RealityOS, now it’s xrOS

We had originally anticipated Apple would christen the OS for the system RealityOS — in part because earlier reports suggested this, plus it has acquired or partnered with numerous companies involved in building such experiences, including Camerai. But Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman now reports that Apple is dropping Reality from the OS name and will instead use the slightly more cumbersome “xrOS” acronym.

That choice articulates that its vision for these devices is as an eXtended Reality system, morphing valuable digital information and experiences within the mundane. This reflects Apple’s core mission, which is always to design a platform that delivers fundamentally transformative value to users, though it is also developing tools to enable its own virtual environments, we believe.

Gurman notes numerous patent applications for the purported brand filed in key markets worldwide. These describe the device as head-mounted displays providing virtual and augmented reality experiences. He predicts three different models of the device, with the first mixed reality device to ship forming direct competition for the Meta Quest pro headset.

Coming in 2023, maybe

Now expected for introduction in 2023, Apple’s AR glasses have been in quiet development for many years. The work has required significant investments, including the development of powerful image intelligence systems, tools for augmented reality experience optimization, user interface improvements, and processors to drive it all.

That’s even before you stop to glance at the glass or build experiences designed to feed into these products. Look Around is nice in Maps, but should be even better in mixed reality glasses. Immediate translation of text in Live Text should offer profound improvement for people attempting to navigate a foreign city, while tools like Door Detection could ultimately be life changing when it comes to boosting accessibility.

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