Apple has filed for all sorts of patents related to 3D technologies over the years, sparking speculation that the company will one day bring us 3D-capable Macs and iOS devices. But evidence that it’s about to get serious about 3D technology for iOS devices comes from a recent job listing on its website for a “Computer Vision specialist to strengthen its multi-view stereo research group.”
The listing actually calls for an iOS Software Engineer, who specializes in 3D technology. Candidates must have a “Ph.D. degree in a Computer Vision related field such as Mathematics, Physics or Computer Science,” in addition to experience in 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
This listing, along with Apple’s growing collection of 3D-related patents, proves the company has an interest in 3D technology. While glasses-free 3D has been available with Android devices from the likes of HTC and LG, it is yet to make its way into an Apple-branded smartphone or tablet.
That’s probably because the technology isn’t quite there yet. Not many people are into the existing glasses-free 3D technology, and it has a lot of flaws. Apple famously steers away from technology that’s still in its early stages, but on the odd occasion, it revolutionizes it and provides a product that actually works.
Could Apple be preparing to bring us a new 3D technology that’s better than what we’ve already seen? It certainly looks like it could be. Back in February, the company filed for a patent that detailed eye-tracking 3D technology that uses a device’s front-facing camera to monitor a user’s eyes and provide a 3D interface based on their position.
Of course, the technology could also be a part of Apple’s upcoming “iTV,” which could be about to take on 3D televisions from the likes of Samsung and Panasonic.
Whatever it is, it’s likely to be a while before we see it, so don’t expect to be playing 3D games or watching 3D movies on your iPhone 5.