If Apple's patent filings over the last few months have been any indication, the company is exploring the possibility of bringing 3D technology of various kinds to at least some of its devices. Back in January the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an application filed by Apple that dealt with a 3D display and user interface. More recently, another patent application dealt with advanced 3D camera technology that could be put in an iPhone or other portable device.
Of course, patent applications aren't always good indicators of what any company - especially Apple - has coming down the product pipeline. Often all they mean is that a company is exploring an idea, and wants to protect their discovery should it pan out. A recent job posting on Apple's website, however, may mean that Apple is looking at taking the technology a step farther. The job title listed in the posting is IOS Software Engineer, and it seems Apple is after someone with solid 3D credentials.
Here's the description in full:
Apple is looking for a Computer Vision specialist to strengthen its multi-view stereo research group.
As a member of this team you should have a genuine interest in technology and be a skilled developer with knowledge and experience in Computer Vision, Image Analysis and 3D geometry.
To qualify for this position you should have a Ph.D. degree in a Computer Vision related field such as Mathematics, Physics or Computer Science. You should be a confident and experienced C programmer. Most importantly, you should have experience within one or several of the following areas:
* Multi-view stereo and 3D reconstruction
* Inpainting of occluded geometry and texture data
* Mesh texturing techniques
* Large scale bundle adjustment
* Cameras and surfaces in a 3D environment
Now, there are a lot of things that a person with these qualifications could be working on aside from 3D displays or 3D cameras or a 3D avatar app. And of course, whoever Apple hires likely won't be working on anything important for awhile after they start working.
What do you think? Should Apple consider 3D displays or 3D cameras or other 3D tech in their iOS devices? Would you buy an iPhone with a 3D camera? Let us know in the comments.