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4/12/2014
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Amazon Plans 3D Phone: Report

Amazon phone capable of displaying images in three dimensions could ship this fall.

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Amazon is preparing to release a smartphone of its own this fall, according to a report published Friday afternoon in the Wall Street Journal.

The report indicates that Amazon intends to announce the device at the end of June and to ship the device in September.

Amazon is reported planning to include a screen capable of displaying 3D imagery without 3D glasses. According to anonymous sources cited in the report, the phone includes four front-facing retina-tracking sensors to make some images appear in 3D, like holograms.

It may also be possible to use such sensors for device interaction, if Amazon includes the appropriate APIs. For example, by linking eye movement data to the scrolling function in an application, a developer could implement a way to traverse lists of email messages with a glance. Whether such interaction would prove preferable to a touch-based interface remains to be seen.

The phone presumably will run Fire OS, Amazon's Android variant. Coincidentally, Google's annual developer conference, Google I/O, begins on June 25th. If Amazon is planning a June announcement, it might try doing so on June 24th, to upstage Google.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In October, AppleInsider published a report making similar claims. It says Amazon's phone, dubbed "Project Smith" internally, will include 4 3D sensors to track gestures -- like Microsoft Kinect -- and that it will also have two cameras: a front-facing 12-megapixel camera and a rear-facing 13-megapixel camera. The report cited Primax, Liteon, and Sunny Optical as the primary component suppliers for this hardware.

"Project Smith" is said to be based on a 4.7-inch touch panel, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. Taiwanese phone maker HTC is said to be working with Amazon to produce the device.

An anonymous post on Hacker News last year by someone claiming to have knowledge about Amazon's phone suggests the phone may include a way to take pictures of items and order them automatically through Amazon.

Amazon in fact just introduced such as device for its AmazonFresh grocery delivery service: Amazon Dash. But such functionality would fit an Amazon phone given that Amazon views its hardware as a way to promote purchases of digital and now physical products.

Amazon also recently launched Fire TV, a $99 streaming TV box that offers Amazon video content and competes with Apple TV, Roku, and other streaming media devices.

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Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

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Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
6/9/2014 | 4:54:18 AM
Re: Amazon's new marketing tool
Richard, 

I believe I wouldn't have a 3D phone either. At least, I don't need such phone.

This phone may be attarctive for those who buy on Amazon quite often, for what I said earlier.

Let's not forget that all Amazon devices are Amazon's marketing tools to lure consumers to the site. 

-Susan 
RichardR441
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RichardR441,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/9/2014 | 4:38:17 AM
Re: Amazon's new marketing tool
Okay, I understand that. But I'm not sure if I would like to have a 3d phone. It might look nice on paper but in reality it may not look good. I'm satisfied with the smartphone I have right now. I have the Samsung Galaxy s5 and I wouldn't switch to a 3d phone.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
6/9/2014 | 4:29:57 AM
Re: Amazon's new marketing tool
Thanks, Richard. 

Creating 3D phones is not the problem. 3D can be useful for many things, like marketing, advertising, etc. 

The problem comes when some people expect a 3D phone to replace their reality, demands from technology more than what it can give today, or criticize a 3D phone or 3D TV, od any 3D experience because it's not like the real world. 

That's why I said if you want to experience the real world you need to step outside, with no 3D devices. :)

-Susan
RichardR441
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RichardR441,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/6/2014 | 5:35:33 AM
Re: Amazon's new marketing tool
Susan, you are absolutely right about that. If you want to experience 3d you have to go outside and experience it. Because a 3d phone is not the real thing. I often wonder why people are creating things like this. I'm satisfied with my smartphone and I would never switch to a 3d phone.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
4/23/2014 | 3:37:23 AM
Re: Amazon, yes. 3D, ehh...
Thanks, Ariella. 

-Susan
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
4/13/2014 | 10:34:18 PM
Re: Amazon, yes. 3D, ehh...
"If what you want to see is the real world you should turn your Samsung 3D TV off, go outside, and experience the real world. 3D is not a replacement of the real world, and it should never be."

Very well stated, Susan!
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
4/13/2014 | 7:20:34 AM
Re: Amazon, yes. 3D, ehh...
Somedude, 

"The viewing experience of some movies is definitely enhanced by it, some dramatically. But does it look anything like what you see in the real world? Not even close."

If what you want to see is the real world you should turn your Samsung 3D TV off, go outside, and experience the real world. 3D is not a replacement of the real world, and it should never be.

-Susan 
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
4/13/2014 | 7:11:05 AM
Amazon's new marketing tool

Since the first time Amazon launched its first tablet it was intended as a marketing tool rather than as a device to compete with the other tablets available at the moment.

For this reason, Amazon's tablets are not highly priced and are considered disposable. I believe this will also be the case with the Amazon phone. The 3D capability will help consumers in their purchases. 

Do you know what the price tag for the Amazon phone is expected to be, Thomas? 

-Susan

danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
4/12/2014 | 3:29:20 PM
Re: Amazon, yes. 3D, ehh...
Amazon's been fairly successful in selling mid-range tablets - I don't see any reason why they won't be able to do the same with smartphones. Based on this report, it appears that there will be some unqiue features to this device not found in other smartphones.

Offering better purchasing capabilties on the device seems like an obvious choice; all Amazon hardware is constructed as retail channels for the company. 
Somedude8
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Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
4/12/2014 | 2:11:11 PM
Amazon, yes. 3D, ehh...
"The 3D is coming" is something we have heard for decades. We do have it in a limited way right now, but there is always a 'but'. I have a top of the line Samsung 3D TV with 3D far better than what one can find in a theater. But, you have to wear glasses, and honestly, its not really that realistic. The viewing experience of some movies is definitely enhanced by it, some dramatically. But does it look anything like what you see in the real world? Not even close. So as far as a 3D phone goes, I am super skeptical.

The general idea of a phone by Amazon sounds quite interesting though. I would give it a serious look when it comes time to replace my current phone.

That brings to mind something about Amazon though. They sure are getting big. They seem to have avoided the Evil Empire syndrome so far, but for how much longer?
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