Apple job opening hints at continued 3D technology in iOS

Apple filed many patents for 3D technology over the years—from advanced 3D cameras to the ability to create 3D avatars inside of iOS. Recently, Apple posted a new “Computer Vision specialist to strengthen its multi-view stereo research groupjob opening on its careers website that suggests the Cupertino-based company has continued pursuit to integrate 3D technology, which has not been done.

The job opening calls for a person with 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.” The listing also clarifies that the job title is an “iOS Software Engineer.” Other requirements include:

  • Multi-view stereo and 3D reconstruction
  • Inpainting of occluded geometry and texture data
  • SLAM
  • Mesh texturing techniques
  • Large scale bundle adjustment
  • Cameras and surfaces in a 3D environment

Apple has yet to include 3D technology into its products. On the other hand, over on Android, both HTC and LG included 3D cameras and passive 3D displays in some of their handsets. There are a few 3D savvy folks in Cupertino, however. One employee on job ranking website Glassdoor called Apple the “best job I’ve had in my 36 year career of 2D/3D imaging.” What is interesting is that Apple is continuing to hire someone with serious credentials to work on 3D technology.

It will be interesting to see what 3D technology Apple includes in the upcoming versions of iOS and perhaps even the rumored iTV, which is perfect for an iOS software engineer with a Ph. D degree.

I really do not think we will see a 3D display or 3D camera on an iPhone anytime soon, because Apple would most likely rather stick with its stunning Retina display. However, I think such an engineer would work on products like a panorama mode for the camera.

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