Apple open-source code references ‘realityOS’

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A reference to realityOS has been spotted in Apple’s open-source code.

RealityOS is the operating system that Apple is widely expected to use on its upcoming mixed-reality headset. However, it may end up being named xrOS (a reference to “extended reality”) when it reaches consumers’ faces.

This week, Apple posted various bits of code on GitHub with numerous references to realityOS:

Apple’s first AR/VR headset will be designed for short stints of usage of work and entertainment rather than something to be used all day. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said people shouldn’t be encouraged to “live their whole lives” in a virtual world.

Apple job listings indicate the company is looking for talent to help build a 3D mixed reality world. That suggests metaverse experiences aren’t entirely “off-limits” for Apple’s headset, as some early reports suggested, but will differ from Meta’s goal of getting people to spend most – if not all – of their work day in a virtual environment.

Even if developers haven’t updated their apps to take advantage of the headset’s abilities, users can reportedly access all current App Store apps in a 2D form.

A second headset project is underway at Apple that is purely for AR and will be similar to standard glasses that a user can wear throughout their day to augment the world around them. That project is still in its early stages and it’s expected to be at least several years before it becomes technologically feasible.

While far from confirmed, it’s likely the AR glasses will also use realityOS so that AR experiences built for Apple’s mixed-reality headset will work out-of-the-box when it eventually arrives.

However, back to the near term, Apple is expected to debut its mixed-reality headset at WWDC in June. The timeline has caused internal divisions with many of the company’s designers wanting to delay its launch until it’s feasible to launch a product that is lighter and less expensive.

Current price estimates for the headset are between $2,000 and $3,000. Apple CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams are said to be keen to launch the headset as soon as possible to secure the firm’s position in a heating VR market.

Apple reportedly only expects to sell around one headset per day, per Apple Store. The company aims to slash the cost of the headset’s second-generation to around $1,500 which should help to boost sales.

(Photo by Mohamed M on Unsplash)

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