An Apple job listing spotted today shows that the company is looking for an iOS software engineer to "strengthen its multi-view stereo research group" — in other words, 3D. That's pretty broad, and it could suggest that the company is considering a 3D iTV, 3D displays and cameras for its products, or motion-sensing technology in future devices, but the listing (of course) doesn't specify. Any leading technology company — especially one with $13 billion in profit last quarter — needs to spend time and money on research, and that could very well be what Apple's doing here. We know Microsoft is cooking up lots of 3D experiments in its labs, and it's only natural for Apple to at least be looking into the area, too, even just to build up its patent portfolio.

At this point the possibilities are fairly limitless: maybe it is looking into projects as far afield as something similar to Sony's 3D panorama sweep feature, internal applications like 3D imaging for a future iOS maps system, or something with tracking abilities like a Kinect. Whatever it is the company is working up, it's looking for someone in Santa Clara, California with Ph.D. in Computer Vision, Mathematics, Physics, or Computer Science to help it get the job done.