During a press conference scheduled for Wednesday, Amazon is rumored to be revealing the company's first smartphone. The phone will use 3D display technology, and will feature many apps that can be controlled through tilting gestures.
Details about the phone were first leaked in April, with multiple sources confirming that Amazon is developing its own smartphone and that the display will have 3D capabilities. The 3D smartphone will work without glasses, like Nintendo's 3DS. However, the phone will also feature low-power infrared cameras on its face that are used to track the user's eyes. This would eliminate the problems the 3DS runs into when the user views the screen from outside the optimal position.
Amazon released a video June 4 that seems to confirm that Wednesday's press conference will reveal a 3D smartphone, featuring users moving their heads around while staring in amazement at something offscreen. Although 3D technology would be impressive, developers would have to build apps with the display in mind in order for it to simulate 3D. That means there will likely be few apps supporting the display upon launch, and only a small number afterward unless the 3D smartphone gains a large market share.
"Amazon's motion sensing and head tracking technology also changes the way users access menus and other features in apps," says a report by BGR. "In fact, we're told that Amazon's smartphone apps don't even have traditional menu buttons. Instead, menus and other functions are accessed by tilting the phone to the right or left. These tilts cause new panels to slide in over the current screen."
The gesture controls may serve tto further set apart Amazon's smartphone from the competition, but motion controls have often been finicky at best in the past. Controlling a device made to be sued on the go through motion could prove problematic, especially if Amazon's apps don't include other options.
The 3D smatphone will also feature a program that can extract text from images of things like signs and labels. The program could then translate that text into another language, or use the text from a business card to create a new contact with all the information filled in.
Amazon will be releasing a high-powered flagship model featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 2 GB of RAM, as well as a lower-end model with a more accessible price point later on. The first phone will be released in the second half of 2014, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.