Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Apple hiring handwriting recognition software engineers

Picked this up from James Kendrick's blog who posts a link and job description from the Apple site.:

"Are you passionate about providing handwriting solutions to end customers? Do you strongly believe that using a stylus and a tablet is the way to interact with computers?

Apple Handwriting Recognition team is seeking an engineer who will be responsible for advancing gesture and handwriting recognition on Mac OS X. The ideal candidate will be an expert in the area of pattern recognition, with an excellent understanding of handwriting recognition issues. The person will also assume primary responsibility for maintaining existing code and tools.

The technology is available to provide consumers with a product like "iSlate". Of course only Apple could really do it right, although several other companies are attempting to create some variation of this device. Unfortunately many are too focused on video playback only, & not creating a true multi-function device that could be used at home, at the office, or on the road. This product would integrate well into the "Digital Lifestyle" philosophy & compliment existing Apple products.

It would provide a screen large enough to actually watch video & view photos, while still being small enough to be portable. It needs to be smaller than a notebook computer, but larger than a PDA. Granted, you can not put a device the size of a DVD case in your pocket, but something doesn't have to fit in a pocket to be portable. This device could be used in so many different situations that it would have broad appeal in the market. I only pray that Apple is working on such a device & will release it in 2004. They have an opportunity to impact the industry with the iSlate & iVideo media Store as much as the iPod & iTMS will.


New Apple mini-tablet –> PMA (portable media appliance)

Designed not to be a creative device like a desktop or laptop, but rather a sophisticated display device that communicates seamlessly with other devices via Rendezvous & 802.11, BT, GPRS, FireWire, etc.

Device Size:
8” x 5.0” x .65” (±15oz)
± 1/2 size of a 17” PowerBook
± 2x size of a Palm T5 or an iPod
± size of a DVD movie case
small enough to hold with one hand by the bezel (.5” bezel on the sides)

800 x 480 pixels minimum (1024 x 600 ideally)
±8” LCD (16:9 or 16:10 ratio)
± 1/2 size of 17” PowerBook screen
± 2x size of a Palm T5 screen
able to display “640 x 480 material” & DVD (720x480) quality video natively

6-9 hour Li-Ion battery (or some new battery technology)

1.8” 40GB or 60GB hard drive
(additional capacity can come from external devices)
256MB or 512MB RAM - fixed
SD slot (w/ adapter for xD & Smart Media)

Processor & OS ?:
Motorola 800 MHz G4 mobile w/ Mac OS X lite or
Intel 500 MHz XScale PXA270 w/ Mac OS Mobile?

802.11 –> Desktop or Laptop, Stereo, Internet via Wi-Fi hotspots
Bluetooth –> Keyboard, Mouse, PDA, Wireless Headphones, Internet via GSM Phone
FireWire –> iPod, Computer, Hard Drive, DVD/CD writer, Video Camera, iSight
USB 2.0 –> Printer, PDA, Digital Still Camera
mini-DVI w/adapter for:
-> ADC & VGA for larger monitor
-> DVI for video projector or HDTV
-> S-Video for video projector or TV
-> Composite for video projector or TV
Stereo mini out
Stereo mini in
Rendezvous for seamless connectivity to other devices

Inkwell via touch screen &/or stylus
Keyboard & mouse via Bluetooth or USB
Remote control via Bluetooth

inkwell, iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie, Safari, QuickTime, iSync, Rendezvous
Preview, Mail, iCal, Address Book, Sherlock, iChat AV
Keynote, FileMaker, Quicken, etc.

A/V Formats:
H.264, MPEG-4, MPEG-2, MPEG-1, AAC, MP3, WAV, AIFF, Audible, JPEG, TIFF, GIF

Charger, External Battery, Stand, clip for iSight, Portable folding BT keyboard, BT mouse
Headphone w/Microphone boom, quality stereo headphones

Price ??:
$699 to $999

Create a device that is bigger that the largest PDA or Archos type device, yet smaller than the average notebook or tablet computer. Imagine if you will, holding a device (about the size of a DVD case) away from you anywhere from 12" to 18". Obviously a 4" screen would be inadequate, but a 7" to 9" diagonal widescreen would be more than acceptable. It would also need to be viewable in portrait or landscape mode. It could still be small enough to fit in a stack of books, a briefcase, a large purse, of any number of other carrying cases. It would be something that could be viewed in an office, at home, in a coffee shop, on an airplane or train, or even in the backseat of a car.

The idea is not to see how much visual information one can cram into a small space (3" to 4" screens) or replace existing devices like the TV or Video Projector. The idea is to create a device that is a reasonable compromise between portability & "acceptable or pleasurable" viewing for multiple applications & that also complements existing devices.

Although a 4 lb, 12" notebook computer displays video beautifully (I use one everyday), it is too big for the situations I have described. Beyond the innumerable business applications it could fulfill, it could display video & photos on a screen that is much bigger than an Archos type device or PDA, & yet smaller than a notebook computer. It doesn’t need to carry everything all the time, so it doesn’t require a massive hard drive. The internal HD needs only to be large enough for the OS, applications & enough storage to carry material while you away from any connectivity to other devices or the internet.

From a strictly “video perspective”, a large part of its success would hinge upon Apple's ability to distribute video clips through an online store much like iTMS. This store could provide educational content, business content, news content, & entertainment content beyond just movies. To be truly successful, it must integrate into Apple's "Digital Lifestyle" strategy, & be truly portable (ubiquitous wireless connectivity & good battery life).

Originally Posted by: lajocaab on Feb 11, 04 | 11:05 pm
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