Handwriting Recognition Could Make Its Way to iPhone, iPod touch

Apple seeks engineers well versed in pattern recognition.

The iPhone’s popularity shows no signs of dying down. When the device was first unveiled in January 2007, it took the world by storm and sparked a buying frenzy when it launched a few months later.

The iPhone was clearly designed with consumers in mind, focusing on phone, music and video operations. Later updates even provided mobile access to Apple’s iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store.

The only people seemingly left out of the iPhone equation were business users. Apple announced its plans to rectify that issue earlier this month with the rollout of the iPhone SDK and a beta of the upcoming 2.0 firmware. The 2.0 firmware brings a wealth of business-oriented features to the iPhone including push email support, Cisco IPsec VPN, WPA2/802.11x and support for Microsoft Exchange/ActiveSync.

A new job posting on Apple’s website reveals yet more technology that could be coming to OS X as well as the iPhone. The listing seeks a Handwriting Recognition Engineer that is well versed in pattern recognition, C/C++ coding, Cocoa programming and neural net algorithms.

Apple notes that the main area of focus will be handwriting technology for Mac OS X and that development/design “may extend beyond Mac OS X to other applications and the iPhone.”

The handwriting technology could make for an interesting alternative input option for the iPhone. The iPhone has been oft-criticized for its on-screen keyboard, so any form of handwriting may be welcome by iPhone/iPod touch users.

Usage could also extend to the rumored tablet-based MacBook which has yet to materialize and the ModBook which use’s Apple’s existing InkWell handwriting technology.

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