Apple seems to be getting ready to enter the mixed reality hardware market in earnest. According to new trademark filings, Apple may use the “Reality” name for its headphones. Bloomberg reports that a shell company linked to law firms that Apple has already used has filed trademark applications in several countries for the names “Reality One”, “Reality Pro” and “Reality Processor”.
Last December, a shell company linked to Apple filed a trademark application for RealityOS with the US Patent and Trademark Office. This is probably the name of the hardware operating system. Apple often uses shell companies and law firms to get the right names for yet-to-be-announced products.
Apple is expected to release its new headphones in 2023. This will be the first time in seven years that the company will introduce a new product category. And that would put Apple in direct competition with Facebook’s parent company Meta, which raised the price of its Quest 2 VR headset in July.
Applications filed in the European Union
Apple’s Reality trademark applications have been filed in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica, and Uruguay, according to Bloomberg. The lawsuits were filed by Immersive Health Solutions LLC, which was registered with another shell company called Corporation Trust Co.
The first application was filed in Canada in February, followed by other countries in August. The connection between these companies and Apple is that the iPhone maker has used them to file trademarks in the past. Bloomberg notes that in New Zealand, the company that registered the Reality trademark was Simpson Grierson, which Apple used to trademark Apple Sales New Zealand.
Trademark applications that have not yet been approved do not fully confirm that Apple is the company behind those applications. But persistent rumors suggest that Apple will be making forays into this product category for some time to come, and the use of the “Pro” branding is consistent with high-end versions of the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. It also follows the previous “realityOS” branded app and RealityKit, Apple’s Software Development Kit (SDK) for developers to build augmented reality apps for iOS and iPadOS.
Apple has already tested two models
According to Bloomberg, Apple has internally tested two models called “N301” – its first prototype – and “N602”, which could be released next year. There is also a lightweight set of augmented reality goggles codenamed “N421”, but these are not expected to launch until the end of the decade.
Special Apple apps that could be built for his headset would include Apple Maps and FaceTime.
The announcement of Apple’s latest VR initiative follows the launch of Meta’s high-end Quest Pro. Apple’s first headset is likely to challenge this model. Quest Pro, which is not a successor to the popular Quest 2, is expected to launch in October.