Reality OS from Apple – an unmatched concept
Apple is a company that is trying to gain momentum in many market segments. For years it has employed hundreds of specialists in programming and mixed reality hardware. Legacy fans of the man in the black turtleneck are looking forward to more than just the “Apple Car”. They eagerly await the announcement of the finished rOS. They’re often hampered in their design work by their own standards. Well, quality is sometimes paid for with a higher price. Will we live to see augmented reality from the Cupertino-based company?
As mentioned by fastcompany.com, research firm IDC has released a forecast (one of many) saying that augmented and virtual reality hardware and apps will consolidate over the next few years. It is speculated that smartphones will disappear from the center of our attention. Apple shows that it focuses on wearables more than on iPhones.
First the Apple Watch, which allows us to interact briefly without pulling our phone out of our pocket, then the AirPods, which settled for our Siri assistant and navigation while being able to disengage from our surroundings thanks to ANC.
Small gadgets are meant to make the phone as a base station, but not necessarily needed for direct operation. And that brings us to AR glasses, the headset the Apple team is working on. Developers have been focusing on creating mixed reality experiences for several years.
rOS – rumors and clues
On the website 9to5mac.com Benjamin Mayo points out that the first iteration of this project was a standalone headset with high-resolution displays and comparable performance to the MacBook M1 Pro. The article’s author also shares tweets from developers confirming that “reality OS” is getting closer to release. References to an operating system designed for the headset are found in Apple’s open source code.
Uh what is Apple’s RealityOS doing in the App Store upload logs?
The clues were tracked down in an open-source repository and in App Store upload logs. The implication is that the suite will include a third-party app store and proprietary augmented or virtual reality experiences.
There are also references to a realityOS simulator for testing AR/VR apps, which is useful for testers before the actual headset hardware becomes generally available.
Well then. This at least confirms it 1) has its own OS & binaries, and 2) has a realityOS Simulator https://t.co/6a25kWshXR pic.twitter.com/RyF5O5gFjg
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) February 9, 2022
Bloomberg Back in 2017, he reported on pre-release compilations in iOS 13 for MR hardware. The existence of “rOS” was first noticed publicly in the media then, and that was 6 years ago!
Apple, we have a problem!
How long the work has been going on can be an indication of what a piece of technology we’re dealing with and the amount of engineering work that needs to be done to polish the final product. It was suggested that an announcement of a new operating system was planned at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), but Bloomberg reports that Apple may not make it before 2023. Developers are now grappling with the overheating of their devices, as well as the cameras and software themselves. While this may be an excuse, and Apple may want to keep the realityOS software development kits in the hands of developers before the final debut.
Revolution? Another moment
The first headset is expected to be very advanced, but heavy and not very ergonomic. Its next versions are yet to be lighter and aesthetically pleasing. As The Verge notes, the new reality OS references come months after analyst Ming-chi Kuo was certain that the first generation of the headset would arrive in 2022 and that it would be a standalone platform, hence the need for a separate system. This would also explain a number of delays, as the existence of rOS would then be crucial to the headset itself.
Evolution, not revolution
Mock OS uses a number of user interfaces familiar from the old design language. It’s a gradual transition from 2D graphics and physical controllers to 3D graphics and virtual controllers driven by AR interaction. The company will also not get rid of previous sources of income, hence the strategy of fluidity and implementation of both new technologies and developers and its customers in the news.
AR glasses could be a prelude to Apple’s metaverse or some other version of the augmented internet, and the device won’t initially offer much use. Portal fastcompany argues that “RealityOS” will be something completely different than we think. It will not be a flat system, but a spatial code that moves with the user, based on interfaces that sense movement and depth in space. Apple will be forced to implement an operating system that integrates graphics with spatial environments.
Can’t forget about the UX. Indications are that this system may look very different from anything we’ve seen from the Silicon Valley giant so far. However, it will do it slowly, gradually, squeezing as much money as possible from the market, from investors and from its clients. Cleverly Apple, though who knows, we may see it all sooner than we think, and it’s all part of a marketing strategy? See.