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January 21, 2021

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XD Student Reimagines Mac Operating System

How might the advent of AR technology redefine how we interact with computers?

That’s the question Dominik Hofacker (XD, 2021) wanted to answer in his project for Berwyn Hung’s Experimentation class at the Brandcenter. For almost 50 years, the general concept of how we interact with a computer has largely remained the same: we stare at an operating system on a 2D screen that is controlled via a mouse and keyboard. However, with augmented reality (AR) technology, and specifically the advent of AR glasses wearables, Hofacker argues that new opportunities exist to fundamentally disrupt and redefine the way we interact with a computer through a spatial operating system.

Building off of his hypothesis, Hofacker designed a macOS concept (called macOS Reality) to show what future Macs could look like if augmented reality glasses replaced the computers’ physical screens. The “virtual Mac” would be spatially minded, floating above a desk and allowing users to scroll through and move around multiple displays and apps. 

“My favorite kind of projects are the ones that are truly disruptive and reimagining experiences in new unconventional ways,” says Hofacker, who interned at Facebook Reality Labs in Summer 2020 and was offered a position as a full-time Product Designer beginning in July 2021. “At the Brancenter, we do tons of hands-on work, so naturally this project pulls from my experience working through countless iterations to perfect and acquire a new craft.”

Hofacker’s project has the technology world buzzing; to date, his work has been featured on news sites across the globe. While Apple still has yet to release AR glasses, the possibilities Hofacker explores in his OS concept are thrilling. He has been invited to speak as a subject matter expert, most recently at the New York Augmented Reality event on January 19, 2021.

View Hofacker’s news features on major Mac news sites like CultofMac (about 1 million followers on Twitter and 12 million monthly website visitors) and iMore (about 15 million monthly website visitors).

Check out the concept trailer on YouTube.