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Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 03:00 pm PT (06:00 pm ET)

Apple job description mentions multi-touch, cameras, remotes

Apple Inc. in a new job posting has put out a call for qualified software engineers to help further the development of its multi-touch technology not only for future iPhones, but also digital cameras and remote controls.

Initially discovered by writer John Gruber, the job listing for a Prototype Application Design Engineer specifically demands a recruit to help develop early software to "showcase new technologies, user interface concepts and system usage concepts" inside the company.

The posting for the Human Interface Design group does not mention individual projects, but is nonetheless oriented towards "new technologies" and actively encourages a future employee to design technology that would result in new patents.

While the HID team's efforts in multi-touch input are recognizable through the iPhone and should translate to a Newton-like tablet next year, the reference to cameras points to a possible revival of the company's normally subdued efforts in imaging.

Apple has incorporated cameras into the iPhone, iSight, and most of its recent Mac lineup, and may only be pointing to these products with the posting. However, the firm's most concentrated work appeared more than a decade ago with the QuickTake camera range (pictured below).

The essentially rebranded Kodak unit was one of the first digital cameras available in the US and broke ground for the transition from film, though it was outsold by more popular offerings from dedicated camera manufacturers and ultimately cancelled by returning chief Steve Jobs while he refocused the company on its core computer business.

QuickTake 200 camera


The company's development of remotes has been lower-key in recent memory and is summarized by the six-button Apple Remote included with nearly all Macs, universal iPod docks, and the Apple TV media hub. Nonetheless, the electronics giant has previously filed patents for touchscreen remotes and similar devices that would include a software interface for remote control instead of physical buttons.