xrOS: Apple's mixed reality headset is getting closer

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Apple's work on a mixed reality headset is in a crucial phase, according to Bloomberg, now that the xrOS brand name has been registered for the operating system in several countries. Apple's XR headset is said to run well-known apps from the company and be ready for launch next year.

The photo used for the article shows Magic Leap's Magic Leap 2.

Mailbox company registers brand names xrOS

Through a shell company, Apple has formed another shell company, Deep Dive LLC, based in Delaware, which has secured the xrOS brand name in several countries. After Switzerland in March, there have recently been extensions to the United Kingdom, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Australia, Japan, Canada and the European Union. At the start of Apple's XR project around seven years ago, the operating system was still running under the name rOS aka realityOS.

The new name may be used to better reflect what the glasses can actually do: namely to combine AR and VR, i.e. to build an “Extended Reality” (XR) around the user. According to previous speculation, the head-mounted display should offer particularly high-resolution screens and create a virtual environment around the user. External cameras should capture the real world and augment it with virtual content.

Known Apple apps in AR and VR

Among other things, new versions of Apple Messages and Apple Maps are to run on the mixed reality headset, as well as a VR version of FaceTime to compete with services such as Zoom and Meta's Horizon Workrooms, as well as tools for collaborative work on the Apple glasses run. As Bloomberg reports, the head of development for iWorks, Notes and Apple News was recently assigned to the working group around the headset. According to job advertisements, Apple is looking for employees who want to build a “mixed-reality world”. The development of xrOS will be led by Geoff Stahl, who has worked at Apple for 24 years and was previously responsible for gaming and graphics software. The headset is being developed within the top-secret Technology Development Group, but the Board of Directors was last shown the current status of development earlier this year.

Price should be high

So that sufficient performance is available for the previously speculated hardware equipment and software, a processor based on the M2 for the used in the current MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13" and the new iPad Pro 11" and 12.9″ is used. In terms of equipment, the first device in this product category from Apple is said to be significantly more expensive than mainstream headsets that have been available so far, although no prices have yet been circulated. According to previous rumours, Apple's first headset should be aimed more at professional users.