Apple Working Hard To Launch Mixed-Reality Headset; Renames Operating System To “xrOS”
Apple Inc seems to be ramping up work on a mixed-reality headset,which is also its first major new product category since the Apple Watch.
Apple Mixed Reality Headset
The iPhone making company has renamed the accompanying software in the latest sign of an approaching debut.
Moreover, Apple Inc is planning to introduce the headset as early as next year.
The headset will be launched along with a dedicated operating system and app store for third-party software, according to the sources.
Recently, the company has changed the name of the operating system to “xrOS” from “realityOS,” internally, said the sources.
Adding that this new software name is a nod to the headset’s mixed-reality capabilities.
Here, “XR” stands for extended reality, a term that encompasses both augmented and virtual reality.
For the unaware, Augmented reality overlays graphics and virtual information over the real world.
At the same time, virtual reality is an all-encompassing experience for gaming and watching video.
Showdown With Apple And Facebook
This push from Apple into the market sets it up for a showdown with Meta Platforms Inc. also the owner of Facebook and Instagram as it is betting on the metaverse in part to decrease its reliance on Apple devices.
This also seems to be a part of a perennial search for Apple’s “next big thing.”
After the release of the Apple Watch in 2015, the company turned its wearables business into a division that now generates more than 10% of its sales, further contributing $41.2 billion in the last fiscal year.
So far, the California-based Apple declined to comment on its headset plans.
An earlier report suggested that the mixed-reality operating system will offer new versions of core apps like Messages and Maps and will work with a software development kit that third parties can use to create their own apps and games.
Coming to the headset, its accompanying operating system and apps are developed within the company’s Technology Development Group, or TDG, a secretive unit led by executive Mike Rockwell.
Similarly, the operating system has been overseen by Geoff Stahl who is a senior engineering manager and nearly 24-year Apple veteran who has led work on gaming and graphics software.
Now, Apple is looking to create its own 3D-based “mixed-reality world as per the company’s recent listing.”
Sources said the device will offer virtual collaboration tools and a VR version of FaceTime, rivaling services like Zoom and Meta’s Horizon Workrooms.