Apple appears to be working on the creation of a metaverse-sounding “3D mixed-reality world”, according to information from related patent filings and recent job postings,
Since November 1, over 30 jobs related to augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) have been posted on Apple’s careers page, with the Big Tech player looking for a mix of software and hardware engineers to work primarily in its Technology Development Group (TDG).
TDG is a secretive team within Apple that may date back to 2017. It is thought to be working on developing AR and VR technology. Apple has never officially confirmed the existence of such a device, though it is widely regarded as a “open secret” in the tech industry.
While Apple is currently hiring for over 150 positions on its careers page, one job posting from August specifically mentions a type of “3D mixed-reality world.”
The job posting is for an AR/VR network engineer, with the following description:
“In this role, you will work closely with other developers and build tools and frameworks to enable connected experiences in a 3D mixed-reality world.”
According to an unnamed source cited in a Digitimes report on Nov. 9, an Apple AR/VR headset will be assembled by Taiwanese electronics firm Pegatron — a company Apple currently uses for its iPhone 14 device — with mass production scheduled for Q1 2023.
According to a Pegatron spokesperson, the company is “unable to comment on information related to a specific customer or product due to confidentiality.”
No comments from Apple in this regard were available.
Meanwhile, USPTO patent filings show that Apple trademarked “Reality One” and “Reality Pro” in August, both of which are described as “photographic and optical apparatus and instruments” and “virtual and augmented reality headsets, goggles, and glasses.”
The filings were made through a Delaware shell company called “Immersive Health Solutions LLC,” a strategy used by large corporations such as Apple to keep future product plans private.
A search of Delaware’s business entities reveals that the company was formed on February 11 by “The Corporation Trust Company,” the world’s largest registered agent service firm, which Apple and other well-known companies such as Google, Walmart, and Coca-Cola use.
The same company was used in a trademark application for a “RealityOS” in December 2021, which is thought to be Apple’s operating system for its rumoured upcoming headset.
Other trademark filings, such as one made in China under Apple Inc., depict a haptic “VR glove” tracking the movement of individual fingers, pointing to the company’s interest in a possible Metaverse space.
On a Q1 2022 earnings call in January, when asked about the company’s Metaverse opportunities, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated, “we see a lot of potential in this space and are investing accordingly.”
Multiple reports surfaced in January 2022 claiming that Apple had planned to release the headset during its June Worldwide Developer Conference but that it did not happen due to a series of development challenges.