Science & Tech

References To ‘realityOS’ Spotted In Apple Code

Apple’s mixed-reality headset, one of its most intriguing and mysterious rumoured projects, comes ever closer to actual reality with the latest discovery in the company’s code.

According to MacRumors, references to “realityOS” have been spotted in Apple open-source code, as well as in upload logs from the App Store. Needless to say, that doesn’t relate to any known current Apple product, and points to something new.

The name of the new operating system – even if it’s just an internal codename, destined to be rebranded when presented to the public – adds fuel to rumours that Apple is planning to release a mixed-reality headset in the near(ish) future. Current estimates suggest this will happen by the end of this year or in early 2023, although the company has so far remained tight-lipped on not just timings but the project’s very existence.

But the evidence is piling up. This latest scoop follows the recent discovery of other mixed-reality hints in the beta version of iOS 15.4: this contained a number of hidden clues, including traces of support for AR and VR headsets in Safari.

If you’d like to get an idea of what realityOS might look like, check out these concept illustrations from Dominik Hofacker, posted by the well-known dev Steve Troughton-Smith:

Mixed reality – which is to say, a combination of AR and VR – is the path Apple is expected to go down first. But a pair of specifically AR-focused smart glasses is also rumoured to be in the works – albeit likely several years more distant.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation (using DeepL) and additional reporting by David Price. Main image is a concept illustration by Antonio de Rosa.

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