Apple has renamed the operating system for augmented reality headsets from realityOS to xrOS, according to Bloomberg. According to the publication, this is a sign of the upcoming debut of a new device. Thus, Apple has accelerated the development of a device that will open a new product category for the company. for the first time since the Apple Watch was released in 2015.
According to Bloomberg sources, Apple will introduce a headset, a custom operating system and an app marketplace next year. Sources said that the new name of the operating system hints at the functionality of the device – XR stands for Extended Reality or “Augmented Reality”, and usually this implies the possibility of using both AR and VR modes.
Apple’s entry into the relevant market will inevitably lead to a clash with Meta*, which promotes his own concept of the metaverse and the VR headset. How profitable the new niche will be for Apple is not yet known. Launched in 2015, the Apple Watch now accounts for about 10% of the company’s sales and generated $41.2 billion in sales last fiscal year.
By offering the functionality of augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) at the same time, Apple will have practically no competitors other than Meta.*, which recently released a similarly capable Quest Pro model. The Apple headset will receive an operating system and applications developed in a secret division of the Technology Development Group (TDG). The company intends, in its own words, to create a “mixed reality world” on a 3D basis. It will include VR versions of apps like FaceTime, as well as other solutions.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been interested in augmented reality solutions for years, and the company has already built a dedicated ARKit platform that allows iPhones and iPads to run AR apps.
The first Apple device in this segment is expected to cost significantly more than comparable solutions from competitors. At the same time, the novelty will receive ultra-high-resolution displays and several external cameras for integrating AR elements into the image of the surrounding world. The model is also said to get the M2 chipset used in the latest Macs. Apple is known to have announced the device to the board earlier this year.
* It is included in the list of public associations and religious organizations for which the court made a final decision to liquidate or ban activities on the grounds provided for in Federal Law No. 114-FZ of July 25. 2002 “On Countering Extremist Activities”.