Apple seeks engineer for next-gen multi-touch displays

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Although traditionally tight-lipped, Apple Inc. in a recent job posting has revealed plans to incorporate multi-touch display panels in more of its future products.



A solicitation for a "Senior Panel Process Engineer" posted to widely known job site on Thursday seeks an individual who will "lead the engineering activities to develop the new process and design for the multi-touch panel used in Apple products."



The Cupertino-based company said the individual will serve as a focal point in the designing and the process development of advanced multi-touch panels from concept to product ramp.



Among the many responsibilities that come with the job, Apple said, is that the new multi-touch panels be developed in such a way that they enable the best performance in both a functional and reliable way.



The ideal candidate, the company added, will need to have hands-on experience and proven track record in the design and development of the thin film process and its integration, or the front-end process in flat panel industry, including array, color filter and panel design.



"Experiences in developing and manufacturing high volume display products are preferred," Apple wrote.



Thus far, the consumer electronics maker has revealed plans to incorporate multi-touch displays only within its upcoming iPhone device. However, later this year it is expected to extend that technology to a new generation of its flagship video iPod players.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    Hmm. This job posting, to me, more or less confirms that the technology won't be making it into Macs anytime soon... but that it almost definitely will in the not-too-far-off future (2008 perhaps).
  • Reply 2 of 52
    rdas7rdas7 Posts: 32member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by psychodoughboy View Post


    Hmm. This job posting, to me, more or less confirms that the technology won't be making it into Macs anytime soon... but that it almost definitely will in the not-too-far-off future (2008 perhaps).



    Not necessarily. They're probably *expanding* a team that already exists. I'm betting on Multi Touch iMacs at the release of Leopard, to showcase all 10.5's new capabilities...
  • Reply 3 of 52
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rdas7 View Post


    Not necessarily. They're probably *expanding* a team that already exists. I'm betting on Multi Touch iMacs at the release of Leopard, to showcase all 10.5's new capabilities...



    Based on that job posting ("lead the engineering activities to develop the new process and design for the multi-touch panel used in Apple products") I sure wouldn't count on that.
  • Reply 4 of 52
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member
    Knowing Apple, probably mid to late 2008 at the very earliest.
  • Reply 5 of 52
    buckbuck Posts: 293member
    Wow, the possibilities are enormous here... Imagine a surface that serves as a screen, also a scanner, and charges your iPod if you place it on, just to name a couple of uses. A real keyboard will be hard to replace though...
  • Reply 6 of 52
    tkntkn Posts: 224member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rdas7 View Post


    Not necessarily. They're probably *expanding* a team that already exists. I'm betting on Multi Touch iMacs at the release of Leopard, to showcase all 10.5's new capabilities...



    I imagine we will see multitouch laptops before desktops, it just makes more sense from a usability perspective unless they are going to come out with desk built-in macs....
  • Reply 7 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Buck View Post


    Wow, the possibilities are enormous here... Imagine a surface that serves as a screen, also a scanner, and charges your iPod if you place it on, just to name a couple of uses. A real keyboard will be hard to replace though...



    Keyboards don't need to be replaced, especially since their tactile feedback is so useful - something like this can be purely supplemental to them, though. This may have the potential to (someday, a LONG way from now) replace the mouse.
  • Reply 8 of 52
    irelandireland Posts: 17,798member
    I think sometimes people make serious comments without thinking them through. Why would Apple make a touch screen iMac? Why? Think through that question and try and prove to me that they will. As I said on various other sites where similar stories have arisen, Apple may make multi-touch tablets and touch panels for retail, but I still think the way forward for the home consumer Mac's is multi-touch touch screen keyboards that replace both existing keyboard and mouse in one unit. The dock could replace the F-keys if you liked, the on screen cursor would move if one dragged one finger across the display. The keboard could do QWERTY or DVORAK or WHATEVER YOU WANT, and could display any message like you have 1 new Mail etc. It's the way forward I'm sure of it.
  • Reply 9 of 52
    tomozjtomozj Posts: 54member
    Will we ever see the Camera in Display stuff?



    -tj
  • Reply 10 of 52
    crees!crees! Posts: 501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    I think sometimes people make serious comments without thinking them through. Why would Apple make a touch screen iMac? Why? Think through that question and try and prove to me that they will. As I said on various other sites where similar stories have arisen, Apple may make multi-touch tablets and touch panels for retail, but I still think the way forward for the home consumer Mac's is multi-touch touch screen keyboards that replace both existing keyboard and mouse in one unit. The dock could replace the F-keys if you liked, the on screen cursor would move if one dragged one finger across the display. The keboard could do QWERTY or DVORAK or WHATEVER YOU WANT, and could display any message like you have 1 new Mail etc. It's the way forward I'm sure of it.



    My arms are already tired from typing. Last I want to do is have to hold them up and then cock my wrists back. Not ergonomic what so ever.
  • Reply 11 of 52
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,745member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hobbes View Post


    Based on that job posting ("lead the engineering activities to develop the new process and design for the multi-touch panel used in Apple products") I sure wouldn't count on that.



    Someone at Apple built the iPhone! The skills are in place. So nothing rules out at least the possibility of new multi-touch products any time regardless of this new job.
  • Reply 12 of 52
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,745member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    I think sometimes people make serious comments without thinking them through. Why would Apple make a touch screen iMac? Why? Think through that question and try and prove to me that they will. As I said on various other sites where similar stories have arisen, Apple may make multi-touch tablets and touch panels for retail, but I still think the way forward for the home consumer Mac's is multi-touch touch screen keyboards that replace both existing keyboard and mouse in one unit. The dock could replace the F-keys if you liked, the on screen cursor would move if one dragged one finger across the display. The keboard could do QWERTY or DVORAK or WHATEVER YOU WANT, and could display any message like you have 1 new Mail etc. It's the way forward I'm sure of it.



    I suspect you have to imagine beyond the obvious. A mouse was laughed at in 1984 when I demonstrated the Mac Plus to many die hard DOS fans.



    It may not be implemented as we are imagining. I, for one, want to see what Steve and co. are cooking up.
  • Reply 13 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    I think sometimes people make serious comments without thinking them through. Why would Apple make a touch screen iMac? Why? Think through that question and try and prove to me that they will.



    We agree for once. I just can't see people reaching across their desktops for hours at a time. That would be poor design. The future of Multi-Touch is in portable units: iPhones, iPods, has great potential in a tablet, and possibly even laptops, but that's another awkward reaching situation.



    -Clive
  • Reply 14 of 52
    jbh0001jbh0001 Posts: 80member
    Why not just get the guy from Perceptive Pixel on board?

    Link 1

    Link 2
  • Reply 15 of 52
    superbasssuperbass Posts: 688member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Someone at Apple built the iPhone! The skills are in place. So nothing rules out at least the possibility of new multi-touch products any time regardless of this new job.



    I think this probably points to some dissatisfaction with the touch-screen for the iPhone - if it were as good as they wanted, why wouldn't they use someone from the same team to lead this movement? This looks like a great reason to wait for the second release of the iPhone...
  • Reply 16 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    I think sometimes people make serious comments without thinking them through. Why would Apple make a touch screen iMac? Why? Think through that question and try and prove to me that they will. As I said on various other sites where similar stories have arisen, Apple may make multi-touch tablets and touch panels for retail, but I still think the way forward for the home consumer Mac's is multi-touch touch screen keyboards that replace both existing keyboard and mouse in one unit. The dock could replace the F-keys if you liked, the on screen cursor would move if one dragged one finger across the display. The keboard could do QWERTY or DVORAK or WHATEVER YOU WANT, and could display any message like you have 1 new Mail etc. It's the way forward I'm sure of it.



    Maybe, but what you propose requires the user to split his attention between the screen (display and cursor) and the actions being performed in the virtual keyboard + the mini messages being displayed in the keyboard.



    It is about the same type of attention splitting as using a Wacom Tablet. and that exist today.
  • Reply 17 of 52
    The best tool for the job varies based on the job being performed and the deficient tools procedures that exist today.



    Until the above is identified, one should not rule out a particular approach or technology.



    When the only tool you have is a hammer, problems start to look like nails.



    More tools and different ways to use those tools provide you a large amount of ways to tackle the different problems that exist.



    Remember ..... Think Different.
  • Reply 18 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Superbass View Post


    I think this probably points to some dissatisfaction with the touch-screen for the iPhone - if it were as good as they wanted, why wouldn't they use someone from the same team to lead this movement? This looks like a great reason to wait for the second release of the iPhone...



    I don't know about that. Jobs is known for his extreme perfectionism when it comes to that sort of thing. I think, though, that different applications for multitouch software (on full computers with much bigger screens than the iPhone, or on peripherals rather than standalone devices) will require some additional engineering, especially to help bring component costs down or for different screen sizes.
  • Reply 19 of 52
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    Notice that it said "Apple products" - plural.
  • Reply 20 of 52
    irelandireland Posts: 17,798member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crees! View Post


    My arms are already tired from typing. Last I want to do is have to hold them up and then cock my wrists back. Not ergonomic what so ever.



    You didn't read my post correctly, I said touch-screen keyboard, not touch-screen display.
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