While we'll have to wait to see what the tangible business benefits of Apple's next big product introduction will be, the company has ditched Reality when it comes to naming the operating system that powers its mixed reality headsets. report.

It is no longer RealityOS, now it is xrOS

We originally expected Apple to dub the RealityOS operating system, in part because previous reports suggested so, and it has acquired or partnered with many of the companies involved in creating such experiences, including Camerai. But Bloomberg's Mark Gurman is now reporting that Apple will drop Reality from the operating system's name and instead use the slightly bulkier acronym "xrOS."

This choice indicates that his vision for these devices is that of an extended reality system, transforming valuable digital information and experiences into mundane ones. This reflects Apple's core mission, which remains to design a platform that delivers fundamentally transformative value to users, though it's also developing tools to enable its own virtual environments, in our view.

Gurman points to numerous patent applications for the alleged trademark filed in key markets around the world. These describe the device as head-mounted displays that offer virtual and augmented reality experiences. He predicts three different models of the device, with the first mixed reality headset to ship forming direct competition with the Meta Quest professional headset.

Arriving in 2023, maybe

Now expected in 2023, Apple's AR glasses have been in quiet development for many years. The work required significant investment, including the development of powerful image intelligence systems, augmented reality experience optimization tools, user interface enhancements, and processors to power it all.

That's before you even stop to look at the glass or create experiences designed to empower those products. Look Around is nice in Maps, but it should be even better in Mixed Reality Glasses. Immediate text translation into Live Text should offer a profound improvement for people trying to navigate a foreign city, while tools like Door Detection could ultimately be life-changing when it comes to improving accessibility.

Interactions such as important notifications, indoor mapping or live activities should also be part of the experience, although this may be greater if the Apple device is less focused on augmented reality and more focused on virtual reality during the first iteration.

What will be the business case?

So, that's all well and good, but what's the business case?

Well, my take is that if you have a business interested in using mixed reality for operational tasks (emergency responders, field technicians, medics) or training (customer or employee centric), you shouldn't have to jump too fast to iterate your first solutions for the unborn Apple platform.

Currently, costs are projected to be around €3,000 per headset, which means that the first buyers are likely to be companies interested in experimenting with the technology, loyal to the Apple brand, and people who could really benefit from such experiences. Given Apple's impressive track record when it comes to accessibility, I'm willing to bet these things could quickly become essential for up to one in seven people on the planet living with some form of disability.

Despite this, the first generation devices will not be business critical, at least not initially. That doesn't mean they won't become critical. We've seen this story before (Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad), and a lot will depend on what APIs Apple introduces, possibly at WWDC 2023 (or 24 if the release date is delayed), to support these new experiences. If some of them allow existing app content to exist in a useful way, I think most companies will toggle the On button to enable them. But developing deeper experiences will take longer than that.

However, in the first wave of enterprise xrOS development, collaborative environments, training/education, and experiences like virtual tours of tourist attractions and product exploration are likely to dominate. Brands like Airbnb, IKEA, and car and entertainment companies will likely be among the first big names to explore Apple's post-reality space, and much will depend on the success of these solutions.

So if you're in business, I think now would be a great time to explore how XNUMXst century Apple toys can deliver better customer and employee experiences and engagement and augment current workplace practices as Apple moves past reality.

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