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Apple seeks to hire camera expert for iPad team

post #1 of 69
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More evidence of a planned camera addition to the iPad has come from a job opening at Apple for a performance quality assurance engineer to work on still and video capture in the iPad Media department.

The job, posted back on Feb. 9 and discovered Thursday by Cult of Mac, is for a "Performance QA Engineer, iPad Media," to work within Apple's Interactive Media Group. The software quality engineer must have a strong technical background in order to test still, video and audio capture and playback frameworks.

"Build on your QA experience and knowledge of digital camera technology (still and video) to develop and maintain testing frameworks for both capture and playback pipelines," the job description reads. "You will work together with the development team to ensure quality. Your focus will mainly be on performance testing and developing performance measurement test tools."

The full-time position is based in Cupertino, Calif., at Apple's corporate headquarters. It requires candidates have a bachelor of science in computer science or equivalent experience, with three or more years experience in software quality assurance.

The job listing is yet another piece of evidence that Apple has plans for a camera in future iPads. A potential spot for a forward-facing camera was found in a replacement part for the iPad soon after the device was unveiled. But later, a teardown of the iPad post-release found that spot was actually used for the device's ambient light sensor.

But the iPhone OS 3.2 SDK has also been found to include mentions of video chat, suggesting that Apple explored the possibility of a forward-facing camera in its multi-touch device.

Introduced last week, the beta of iPhone OS 4.0 also features references to iChat, including framework strings referencing "front facing" and "back facing." Evidence of iChat sounds has also been found in the pre-release software. While it will hit the iPhone this summer, iPhone OS 4.0 is scheduled to be available for the iPad this fall.

Of late, Apple has been adding cameras to many of its portable devices. Last year, Apple planned to introduce a camera upgrade to its iPod touch line, but alleged technical issues led to the feature being scrapped. Apple did, however, introduce a new iPod nano equipped with a video camera.
post #2 of 69
We all knew this was coming
post #3 of 69
Oh Pick me! Pick me!
post #4 of 69
Yah, after I pay all my bills today I might run across the street and grab a small 16gb model, then wait for V2 with a camera and get the biggest and best. We'll see what I have left after bills though haha
post #5 of 69
Was going to wait for the iPad 3g....I'm an unabashed 'early adopter!'

First gen. iPhone, 1st gen. intel iMac, 1st gen. intel MacBook. All bought within a week of their release dates! Same with iLife, iWork and OSX SW upgrades!

Would love an iPad but business is down and will be forced to wait for second gen. iPad with a camera, no doubt.

Hope my 4 year old MacBook breaks soon....then I would have to get the iPad!

Fingers crossed!
post #6 of 69
http://www.nytimes.com/external/idg/...rry-16685.html

The numbers are, in absolute terms, small, but interesting nonetheless.
post #7 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

http://www.nytimes.com/external/idg/...rry-16685.html

The numbers are, in absolute terms, small, but interesting nonetheless.

When you take into consideration the limited number of units available in a limited market (US) and the number of days it has been available, add in the fact the 3G model isn't even out yet, they numbers are actually pretty amazing.
post #8 of 69
I do not think anybody has considered the demand from educational market - worldwide. In my line of work, when I went to university, I had to carry 10 lbs of books, starting with Gross Anatomy Text, Atlas, Histology Text + Atlas, etc, notes. Same in undergrad but not as heavy. HS also requires a lot of books.

The Kindle is good, but it does not have color text. Limited ability to download class notes, assignments, schedules. Access to the net gives instant reference sources.

Besides education, hospitals, and industry all could use the device. Instant access to EKGs, X-rays, lab results and even real time telemetry, medical records, etc. Health care is 17% of GDP... or at least, it was.
post #9 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

I do not think anybody has considered the demand from educational market - worldwide. In my line of work, when I went to university, I had to carry 10 lbs of books, starting with Gross Anatomy Text, Atlas, Histology Text + Atlas, etc, notes. Same in undergrad but not as heavy. HS also requires a lot of books.

The Kindle is good, but it does not have color text. Limited ability to download class notes, assignments, schedules. Access to the net gives instant reference sources.

Besides education, hospitals, and industry all could use the device. Instant access to EKGs, X-rays, lab results and even real time telemetry, medical records, etc. Health care is 17% of GDP... or at least, it was.

Education and medical are two potentially huge markets for the iPad, but in the latter case, someone needs to come up with a killer app that isn't available for any other platform. If that doesn't happen soon, hospitals are likely to look more seriously at the Windows tablets coming onto the market if only because they'd probably integrate more cleanly into their existing IS.

As for textbooks, are any available for purchase at the iBookstore?
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post #10 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Adding an additional 130.00 in hardware costs plus and additional 360.00 a year for service, not sure thats going to generate a large number of 3G sales. Seeing most already are paying for a data plan on their smartphone.

Apart from disagreeing with your analysis of the sales prospects of the 3G model, a disagreement I believe the sales numbers will shortly bear out, it should be pointed out that there is no $360/year data plan associated with the 3G model. One can spend as little as $0/year for data access.

Admittedly, there's little reason to get the 3G if you never take advantage of it, but, given the fact that you can sign up for 3G service on a monthly basis, a lot of people will be getting these just to have the option of using it when they need to. This might be as little as a couple of $15 charges for limited data access a couple of months a year (used for a couple of weeks when traveling), or it might be $30/month several times a year, as needed. Some people may pay the full $360 per year, but my expectation is that most won't.
post #11 of 69
Apple has a camera in the iPhone. What expert did Apple use for that but couldn't use for the iPad? Did Apple fire him?

I didn't know putting in a camera entailed more then creating a place for it to reside (was there not an article showing the iPad internal guts and the place where a camera could reside) and purchasing from the camera manufacturer (wouldn't they use the camera being bought for this years iPhone or purchase from the camera manufacturer Apple intends to use next year) and doing whatever software work that needs to be done to bring the camera to life (like the software and apps they currently have in the iPhone OS for the iPhone)...

I know there is someone smarter than I out there in AppleInsider land... What am I leaving out? Why is Apple seeking to hire a camera expert for the iPad when they had some initial training from their iPhone camera efforts and experience?

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #12 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Education and medical are two potentially huge markets for the iPad, but in the latter case, someone needs to come up with a killer app that isn't available for any other platform. If that doesn't happen soon, hospitals are likely to look more seriously at the Windows tablets coming onto the market if only because they'd probably integrate more cleanly into their existing IS.

As for textbooks, are any available for purchase at the iBookstore?

No. Just no. If you've ever used a Windows tablet and tried to hold it with one hand, you'd see why while they're really cool to have, doctors never use them. 5lbs in one hand is NO fun. And with the hospitals I've worked at, the tablet interface is the same as the desktop one. Which makes in mind-numbingly annoying to use.

I give it 10 years before every hospital replaces what they have with iPads as tablets (plus some capacitive styli). 5 years in major centers.


Now, about the camera thing. If Apple really designed this thing to have "no orientation", then the only logical place to put the camera is in the middle of the screen. Putting it on the sides means you'd have to hold it up in a specific way (likely landscape since top and bottom are already taken).
post #13 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Apart from disagreeing with your analysis of the sales prospects of the 3G model, a disagreement I believe the sales numbers will shortly bear out, it should be pointed out that there is no $360/year data plan associated with the 3G model. One can spend as little as $0/year for data access.

Admittedly, there's little reason to get the 3G if you never take advantage of it, but, given the fact that you can sign up for 3G service on a monthly basis, a lot of people will be getting these just to have the option of using it when they need to. This might be as little as a couple of $15 charges for limited data access a couple of months a year (used for a couple of weeks when traveling), or it might be $30/month several times a year, as needed. Some people may pay the full $360 per year, but my expectation is that most won't.

That's exactly what I'm planning on doing. I won't have a recurring data charge. I'll buy when needed. That and the fact the GPS seems like another compelling feature.
post #14 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

No. Just no. If you've ever used a Windows tablet and tried to hold it with one hand, you'd see why while they're really cool to have, doctors never use them. 5lbs in one hand is NO fun. And with the hospitals I've worked at, the tablet interface is the same as the desktop one. Which makes in mind-numbingly annoying to use.

I give it 10 years before every hospital replaces what they have with iPads as tablets (plus some capacitive styli). 5 years in major centers.

A bunch of new models are coming out, some of which are bound to be better than the existing product (though of course they still run Windows). I think we have to be honest and acknowledge that Windows is still the overwhelming default preference in the IT community. I've also been monitoring the temperature of the discussion over the iPad (as have a lot of us), and no surprise, the technorati hate, hate, hate the iPad almost with exception. So I think getting these computers into institutional settings is going to be extremely difficult, with the IT people fighting it tooth-and-nail, unless the case for them is overwhelming. Which, lacking an exclusive killer app, it isn't.
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post #15 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by crawdad62 View Post

That's exactly what I'm planning on doing. I won't have a recurring data charge. I'll buy when needed. That and the fact the GPS seems like another compelling feature.

Right, the GPS is another good reason to go for the 3G.
post #16 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

"Admittedly, there's little reason to get the 3G if you never take advantage of it"

Exactly my point. Also logic would dictate that if the vast majority of iPad sales are the base model then there is at least reasonable evidence that 499.00 is all consumers feel this product is worth. Consumers are going to spend an extra 130.00 on 3G if they aren't gong to use it if anything they would upsize to the 32gb model.

I also find it hard to believe that the 3G model is going to produce a massive sales increase when many Apple consumers are already paying for a data plan.

Well, quoting the "Admittedly ..." remark while pretending that I didn't say anything else is a bit disingenuous, as is repeating the bit about a data plan without admitting that it's a monthly plan that you can sign up for and cancel as needed. So, no, it's not exactly your point, it's in exact contradiction to your point.

Your analysis and logic in the second paragraph are flawed. All you can conclude from that is that without 3G that's what most consumers are willing to pay. It doesn't say anything about how much they are willing to pay with 3G.
post #17 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

THe iPad won't replace anything used in a hospital or in the educations system because it is runing a mobile OS that can not run third party software needed that an Full OS can run.

Also if 4-5 lbs is that heavy for you instead of an iPad maybe you should invest in a gym membership.

Whenever I look at your posts, I regret it. A gym membership? What kind of comment is that?

I've discussed your other "point" above. To reiterate, a "full OS" (whatever that is) is not the issue. The OS needed is the one that runs the apps that do the job. Nothing more.
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post #18 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

THe iPad won't replace anything used in a hospital or in the educations system because it is runing a mobile OS that can not run third party software needed that an Full OS can run.

Also if 4-5 lbs is that heavy for you instead of an iPad maybe you should invest in a gym membership.

Oh, you are funny today. What exactly is this, "third party software needed that an Full OS can run"? Oh, stuff that developers wrote? Gee, maybe they can write stuff for the iPad too?

Please carry a half gallon of water around for a day (4lbs) and then come back and tell us about your gym membership.
post #19 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Oh, you are funny today. What exactly is this, "third party software needed that an Full OS can run"? Oh, stuff that developers wrote? Gee, maybe they can write stuff for the iPad too?

Please carry a half gallon of water around for a day (4lbs) and then come back and tell us about your gym membership.

Can I drink it first? I'm still carrying it around with me
post #20 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Education and medical are two potentially huge markets for the iPad, but in the latter case, someone needs to come up with a killer app that isn't available for any other platform.

Already under development, rumor is that it will be called iKevorkian.
post #21 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

...Also they are switching over to Windows notebook because they are the only county not using MS office and it is creating a continued problem.

Why aren't they using Office for Mac?
post #22 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

There wasn't anything "disingenuous" about my comments.

Really, then how to do explain this comment?
Quote:
Adding an additional 130.00 in hardware costs plus and[sic] additional 360.00 a year for service

Here's a real world example for you. Bought an iPad 3G. It will be used for travel, maybe 3x a year. Based on computing needs it will only need the 250MB for $15 package. That is $45 not $360 which you claim will added per year for service. Do we need to discuss what contract free mean?
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post #23 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by stompy View Post

Already under development, rumor is that it will be called iKevorkian.

Damn, I wish I'd thought of that.
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post #24 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

I do not think anybody has considered the demand from educational market - worldwide. In my line of work, when I went to university, I had to carry 10 lbs of books, starting with Gross Anatomy Text, Atlas, Histology Text + Atlas, etc, notes.

I'm anxious to see this open up as well. An app that allows for excellent markup, notes, bookmarking and search, for starters.
post #25 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Apple has a camera in the iPhone. What expert did Apple use for that but couldn't use for the iPad? Did Apple fire him?

I didn't know putting in a camera entailed more then creating a place for it to reside (was there not an article showing the iPad internal guts and the place where a camera could reside) and purchasing from the camera manufacturer (wouldn't they use the camera being bought for this years iPhone or purchase from the camera manufacturer Apple intends to use next year) and doing whatever software work that needs to be done to bring the camera to life (like the software and apps they currently have in the iPhone OS for the iPhone)...

I know there is someone smarter than I out there in AppleInsider land... What am I leaving out? Why is Apple seeking to hire a camera expert for the iPad when they had some initial training from their iPhone camera efforts and experience?

Simple. Software controls the camera, so they are looking for someone that is an expert in that field so they can produce a good software app to control the camera. Currently the iPhone camera software is extremely basic. Perhaps they didn't have any type of expert when they wrote the iPhone camera app.
post #26 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

. Last year, Apple planned to introduce a camera upgrade to its iPod touch line, but alleged technical issues led to the feature being scrapped.


The general attitude around here has been "We don't want a forward facing camera. It would show a view up the nose of the person using an Ipad."

And WRT the quoted line form the article, Steve addressed the situation already:

Originally, we werent exactly sure how to market the Touch. Was it an iPhone without the phone? Was it a pocket computer? What happened was, what customers told us was, they started to see it as a game machine, he said. We started to market it that way, and it just took off. And now what we really see is its the lowest-cost way to the App Store, and thats the big draw. So what we were focused on is just reducing the price to $199. We dont need to add new stuff. We need to get the price down where everyone can afford it.


They were trying to hit a price point. So they left out the camera.

The iPad is also designed to fit price points.
post #27 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Right, the GPS is another good reason to go for the 3G.

Since it's a wifi device, and I use my iPhone for truly mobile reference, I haven't used the iPad outside of couch and office settings. The WiFi location based GPS works spooky well.

I'm not a fan of the camera on my laptop, so I'm not going to miss it. I'm getting some bluetooth headphones this week which also have a mic. If it works with skype - that's the only 2-way communication I'd consider for the iPad. To get a decent image of me for video conferencing, I'd have to hold the pad out at arms length level - that's an ergonomic ouch.

Otherwise, it's going to be nose-hair cam - or worse, if anyone's seen "cave dwellers" on MST3K - "Ator-cam" (I'm HUGE).
post #28 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

...Also in our state (Georgia) the use of interactive white boards is extremely popular. If the iPad can not link to these interactive white boards then the education system here has no interest in them seeing they paid 8,000 per classroom to have them installed.

I totally hear you on that. We've got a bunch of the SmartBoards here too and I don't think they'd be happy if we rendered them inoperable with incompatible hardware. That's not to say that Smart technologies couldn't come up with an app for the iPad that would allow the SmartBoard's touch surface to interact with it.
post #29 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

I'm not sure the 3G model is going to provide any major boost in sales. Without a doubt the biggest seller is the base model at 499.00. At this point we do not know if thats the case because thats all an user feels they need or if thats the max they feel this product is worth.

Adding an additional 130.00 in hardware costs plus and additional 360.00 a year for service, not sure thats going to generate a large number of 3G sales. Seeing most already are paying for a data plan on their smartphone.

This would mean just for the base model with tax you wouldn't get out of the store for less then 670.00 plus the added yearly data costs.

How in blazes do you figure $360.00 per year in service (assuming you simply multiplied 30USD x 12months??), for some yes, they could run constantly on 3G, but there is no well-defined datapoint that would allow you to make that assertion. The Average User (TAU) based on current reports of iPhone usage (ignoring for the moment the iPod Touch population entirely), "uses" 3G constantly because they are under contract for it, and the iPhone will only hop onto WiFi when it is available (or allowed). To use that paradigm or usage pattern as anything close to "on-demand" for the iPad has no basis in actual statistics now does it.

So make this a FAIL prediction/prognostication until you can come up with a reasonably defensible scenario, not this tripe.
post #30 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

Besides education, hospitals, and industry all could use the device. Instant access to EKGs, X-rays, lab results and even real time telemetry, medical records, etc. Health care is 17% of GDP... or at least, it was.


They already have powerful Windows laptops bolted to dedicated wheeled carts (like all the other equipment) for that. And lots of the diagnostic equipment is running Windows Embedded.

It would be a huge project to integrate iPads into that environment. And they would need to be bolted down.

I don't see that happening in large numbers anytime soon.
post #31 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

That isn't a real world example. Give me some stats on users that turn on and off their data plans. IF someone only needs to turn on their data a few times a year then clearly they will not feel the needs to buy an iPad with 3G because the need just isn't there.

Thats real world.

I have AAA year round, yet I only use it a few times a year, at most. That's the real world.

People know they'll be peripatetic a few times a year and would like to have internet during those few weeks. That is the real world.

Saying, "unless I plan on using 3G all-day-every-day, consuming more than 250MB a month in the process, is the only viable reason to consider buying an iPad 3G" is NOT the real world.
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post #32 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


I know there is someone smarter than I out there in AppleInsider land... What am I leaving out? Why is Apple seeking to hire a camera expert for the iPad when they had some initial training from their iPhone camera efforts and experience?

All I can think of is that they want to incorporate motion-cancelling tech into an iPad camera. Given that it is handheld device, for video that would be a welcome improvement.
post #33 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by crawdad62 View Post

That's exactly what I'm planning on doing. I won't have a recurring data charge. I'll buy when needed. That and the fact the GPS seems like another compelling feature.

I think you are typical. I think that they left the GPS out of the base model on purpose, figuring that lots of people would buy the upgrade to get GPS, even if they care less about 3G.
post #34 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

"Admittedly, there's little reason to get the 3G if you never take advantage of it"



GPS is a very good reason to get the 3G, even if you seldom plan to use 3G.
post #35 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

That isn't a real world example. Give me some stats on users that turn on and off their data plans. IF someone only needs to turn on their data a few times a year then clearly they will not feel the needs to buy an iPad with 3G because the need just isn't there.

Thats real world.

Well, that's what I and other posters have indicated we plan to do. I guess we just don't live in your "real world"
post #36 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamG View Post

The general attitude around here has been "We don't want a forward facing camera. It would show a view up the nose of the person using an Ipad."

I don't recall anyone saying they don't want a camera, either front or back facing. I recall many saying that they did want it, with most others saying that it wasn't a deal breaker.

From my experience with several iPads what is needs to be addressed first, before I commit to another one is the RAM issue adequately resolved. Whether that means an firmware update or more RAM, I don't care. That was a deal breaker for me.
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post #37 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

THe iPad won't replace anything used in a hospital or in the educations system because it is runing a mobile OS that can not run third party software needed that an Full OS can run.

Also if 4-5 lbs is that heavy for you instead of an iPad maybe you should invest in a gym membership.


Hmmm. Wish I could agree with you on that. My dentist and my GP both are actively reviewing offerings from the major med instrumentation power houses who were already producing iPhone/iPod Touch apps for their devices. We're talking direct-connect to patient monitoring systems, front-end clients for their cleint information systems that support full imagery access for X-ray and MRI, and a true 3D scan representation with 360 degree global manipulation of the imaging. Two specialists that are friends of mine are looking at some other offerings as well, that have been proposed, and that's just here in central Ohio. I can only imagine what's being pursued elsewhere.

So take a minute, crawl out of your narrow little perceptive niche, and talk to people. Just because you can't possibly conceive of how you would do this doesn't mean that someone else with more knowledge/talent/vision or persistence is going to be likewise limited by their preconceived notions.
post #38 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

The fact is the Apps Store does not have the Apps to do the job in business.

Apple concentrates on the sweet spot in the market: The consumer.

They have made that clear recently, and in the past.

These corporate, institutional and enterprise users are of much less interest to Apple.
post #39 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

That isn't a real world example. Give me some stats on users that turn on and off their data plans. IF someone only needs to turn on their data a few times a year then clearly they will not feel the needs to buy an iPad with 3G because the need just isn't there.

Thats real world.

There are no stats. The product is not yet in the market. Time will tell.
post #40 of 69
Just got back from NAB in Vegas and all the buzz there was iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, and 3D.
I think there are a lot of industries where the Apple touch platform will be adopted in the near future.
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