[LEAKED] Amazon's 3D Smartphone To Come With Six Cameras

Latest report on Amazon's first branded phone, including leaked photos, suggests the company will play up the device's 3D interface, which is said to set it apart from the competition.

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Amazon Is Expanding Beyond Its Range Of Kindle Devices As It Aims To Compete More Directly With Google, Apple And Samsung Group, Reports The WSJ

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The Seattle e-commerce giant has recently been developing a wide-ranging lineup of gadgets—including two smartphones and an audio-only streaming device—to expand its reach beyond its Kindle Fire line of tablet computers, said people familiar with the company's plans.

According To A Source With First-Hand Experience Of Amazon's Mobile Ambitions, One Of The Devices Is A High-End Smartphone Featuring A Screen That Allows For Three-Dimensional Images Without Glasses

An exclusive first look at the unannounced smartphone Amazon is set to debut in the coming months

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Amazon’s upcoming flagship smartphone, running a forked version of Android and using retina-tracking technology, images on the smartphone would seem to float above the screen like a hologram and appear three-dimensional at all angles. Users may be able to navigate through content using just their eyes, two of the people said.

Some Elements Of Amazon's Hardware Push Have Previously Become Public

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Last year, news surfaced about Amazon developing one smartphone. And last month, The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets reported that Amazon also was developing a set-top box for streaming movies and TV shows. But the people familiar with the plans said the smartphone and set-top box are just two elements of a broader foray into hardware that also includes the audiostreaming device and the high-end smartphone with the 3-D screen.

Inside Amazon's Lab126 facility in Cupertino, Calif., where each of the devices have been under development, the efforts are known as Project A, B, C and D, or collectively the Alphabet Projects, said the people familiar with the plans. Though Amazon has goals of releasing some of these devices in the coming months, these people cautioned that some or all of the devices could be shelved because of performance, financial or other concerns.

TechCrunch Reports That Amazon Has Long Been Working On A Pair Of Smartphones

TechCrunch learned last October that internally the venture is called “Project Smith”. “Duke” is the internal codename for the high-end device that features head tracking.

According To Reports, Duke, The Flagship Device Is Powered By A Heavily Modified Version Of Android

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It’s FireOS with extreme 3D parallax effects, similar to those found on iOS but greatly exaggerated. The screen itself is not 3D, but rather simulates a 3D effect.

By way of four corner-mounted, front-facing cameras, a user can tilt the smartphone left or right to browse and access hidden side panels. We’re told that the 3D feature is very limited out of the box. At launch, there will be just a couple of added gestures built into the operating system that utilize this system.

Contrary to previous reports, this is done through head tracking alone and does not use eye tracking at all. Amazon never worked on eye tracking for its smartphones, TechCrunch learned.

The tracking technology itself is robust and developed by a team within Amazon — likely at Amazon’s Lab126 development skunkworks. Apparently, the OS simply does not leverage the head tracking in a meaningful way and reportedly does not lend to the device’s usability.

Amazon Hopes To Stand Out From The Crowd With The 3D Screen. Qualcomm Inc. Would Provide Chips For The 4G LTE-Enabled Phones, According To Reports.

With smartphones, Amazon could collect new data on its users through maps, phone calls and app downloads, and offer them shopping recommendations. There is also the potential for new services like mobile payments. But Amazon would also have to negotiate contracts with wireless carriers to provide cellular service to the devices and carriers often require complicated device subsidy packages to accompany their two-year service contracts. It is unclear which company may supply Amazon's wireless service.

Although, Spec-Wise, It Sounds Like Any Other Smartphone:

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BGR’s sources claim the phone includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2 GB of memory, runs a version of Android comparable to Amazon’s tablet lineup, has a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 4.7-inch screen that runs at 720p. Where this thing starts to differ from other smartphones, however, is that it reportedly employs 3D algorithms tied into six cameras — two in back, and four infrared in front that’ll track your face and eyes — that enable 3D effects requiring neither eyewear nor the sort of parallax screen barrier Nintendo uses to facilitate eyewear-free 3D in its 3DS.

The Timetable For This Launch Is Unknown. Apparently Amazon Hopes That It Will Spawn A New Breed Of Games And Applications

Our sources are not clear on exactly when Amazon’s first smartphone will be released, though we’re told the company may be targeting an announcement in the next two to three months and a launch sometime late this summer. We were also told the phone will initially be available only in the United States, BGR reports.

According to the WSJ, Amazon has already showed the device off to key developers in San Francisco and Seattle so it’s likely the device will launch with third party support. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Amazon plans on announcing the phone by June and shipping it by the end of September, a schedule confirmed by a TechCrunch source.

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