Amazon Smartphone Project Rumours Hint at 3D High-end Model and Low-Cost Version Running FireOS

by Istvan Fekete on October 3, 2013

And here we go again: rumours that online retail giant Amazon is after entering the smartphone market with two devices have surfaced again. This time the rumour mill has spilled juicy information about the features under development, such as a 3D-eye tracking interface for the high-end model.

News of Amazon’s move isn’t new: it was the Wall Street Journal that leaked information about the online retailer’s plans earlier this year. Back then, the newspaper had heard from people familiar with the Alphabet Projects, which represent Amazon’s foray into hardware. These projects include an audio streaming device and a smartphone with a 3D screen.

Some of the information has been corroborated by fresh whispers, but Hacker News has thrown in some new information. Turns out the screen itself won’t be 3D, but the handset will feature four cameras, one at each corner of the device, used for tracking eye movement and head motions, which will move the interface around to give the impression of 3D.

Since this technology is based on face recognition, there has been some testing of a feature that will recognize the user’s face and ignore other faces around it.

Also, an interesting feature which is currently under testing inside Amazon’s Lab126 facility in Cupertino, California, is related to image recognition and works like this: you snap an image of a real world object, and the handset will match the object to the Amazon’s product database for purchase. If this makes it to the final product, it would help lower the handset’s price, because Amazon could recoup its loss from sales. The project has the codename “Smith”.

Project B is a low-cost handset with basic software similar to what we have seen with the Kindle Fire tablets, called FireOS. Amazon is said to be delaying the launch because of software and hardware difficulties. Also, some of the key players have allegedly left the company.

Since these handsets have been in development there has been no word about a possible release date, and the features are subject to change as well.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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