The Amazon smartphone
rumors are nothing new, but the rumor mill is a-churnin’ again. Reports suggest that Amazon
has two smartphones in the works, one a cheaper model (“Project B”) running the FireOS
(or something essentially similar to it) that is found on the Kindle Fire
and one a high-end handset that could boast some groundbreaking features.
According to a post on Hacker Network
, the higher-end model, codenamed “Smith”, will have a 3D
user interface, but the 3D won’t be built into the display itself; rather, it will be an illusion made from four front-facing cameras, one each at the four corners of the device. The cameras will track the eye and head movements of the user, and the software is designed to ignore any other faces that may be peering at the display so that the illusion holds for the primary user.
The phone may also have object recognition built in so that users can snap a photo of something and search Amazon for similar products.
It appears that development has been delayed due to people leaving the company, and other employees are being pulled off of other projects to help get the phones completed. TechCrunch has corroborated that the phone effort is pulling in people from other projects (while the former statement has not been substantiated) and also the fact that the two phones are under development.
The less expensive handset should come as early as this year, although it may get bumped into next year; there’s no rumored release date for the higher-end 3D phone.