Is Apple secretly funding a shell company to buy brands related to its developing VR/AR headset? This is the latest juicy speculation from the Apple headphones rumor at Bloomberg. New report cites trademark filings in nearly a dozen countries for names such as “Reality One”, “Reality Pro” and “Reality Processor”, each potentially referring to the company’s top-secret AR/VR headset expected to be published as early as January 2023. The problem is that these trademark applications were not actually filed by Apple; however, Bloomberg says this wouldn’t be the first time Apple has worked with other companies behind the scenes to do its bidding.
Gizmodo couldn’t confirm all the details of the Bloomberg report, and Apple didn’t immediately respond to our requests for comment, so take it all with a grain of salt.
Each of the new trademark applications was filed by Immersive Health Solutions LLC, a Delaware-based shell company founded just six months ago, according to Bloomberg. If that doesn’t sound suspicious enough already, the publication notes that Immersive Health Solutions was registered by the ominously named “Corporation Trust Co,” which Bloomberg says is often used by companies seeking to avoid unwanted detention. Corporation Trust Co, was would have involved earlier this year in filing a trademark for “realityOS”.
Believe it or not, rumors surrounding the supposed “realityOS” operating system actually date back to at least 2017. This first rumoralso via Bloomberg, claimed that the supposed operating system, also called “rOS”, is based on iOS and would power Apple’s headphones.
Immersive Health Solutions LLC and Corporation Trust Co did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s requests for comment.
Trademarks are said to have been registered in the US, UK, EU, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica and Uruguay. In three of those countries – the United States, Canada and New Zealand – the filings would have relied on law firms that Apple had previously used to file trademarks. The report claims that Apple often uses this approach to secretly pre-purchase patents to avoid having to spend a lot to buy them from other companies once they have products ready for launch.
What we think we know about Apple’s headphones so far
Apple’s mixed reality headset, along with its beleaguered car fiasco, are among the two worst-kept secrets in technology. The company still hasn’t officially announced the headset, but just about everyone in the VR/AR space is gearing up for the product to launch and ship. shock waves across the industry. Analysts predict the high-powered standalone mixed reality device could ship as early as next year with a price tag of $2,000. Previous reports suggest it could cost up to $3,000. This would easily make them one of the most expensive consumer headsets on the market. For context, Meta’s Quest 2, the the most popular consumer headphones, just uneven in its price at $499.
When Apple releases its first headset, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted it will limit its release to around 1.5 million units. On the specs side, the device could feature 8K screens, M1 Pro level power and come with 14 built-in cameras. Apple’s headset is expected to combine two 4K OLED micro-displays and at least six optical modules to provide continuous “video seamless AR services”.
Recent trademarks also provide a few more clues as to what to expect with Apple’s headphones. For starters, the “Reality One” and “Reality Pro” branding might suggest Apple’s interest in launching multiple tiers of its headphones as it does with other products like the iPhone and Watch. Bloomberg notes that the “Reality Processor” branding could also refer to a new custom silicone chip designed specifically for the headset. Then again, Apple could fill in multiple brands to cover their bases rather than worry about having to buy them later.
And while the company hasn’t even officially announced its first headset, we’ve already started to learn new details about its second-generation headset. This helmet, which could ship in the first half of 2025, would come with a micro OLED panel provided by LG. Sony would have supplied the screens for the Mk1 version. This second model can also would have comes with a premium and slightly more affordable version.