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WSJ: Amazon to announce smartphone with 3D eye and gesture tracking in June

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Adding to previous reports of an Amazon-built smartphone, The Wall Street Journal on Friday said the Internet retail giant will announce its entry into the handset market in June.


Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX tablet. | Source: Amazon


Citing sources familiar with the matter, the WSJ claims Amazon has recently been showing off the as-yet-unannounced handset to developers in San Francisco and Seattle, likely in a bid to garner advance software support ahead of an unveiling.

According to sources, Amazon is planning to announce the smartphone at the end of June, while shipments should begin at the end of September, just in time for the holiday shopping season.

In order to set itself apart from the sea of smartphones already on the market, Amazon's rumored device is said rely heavily on 3D gesture control instead of prevailing touchscreen technology. A form of the technology is already being used to some extent by rival manufacturers like Samsung, which introduced camera-based "Air Gestures" with the Galaxy S4.

While most modern smartphones incorporate two cameras -- one for photographic shots and another for video calls -- Amazon's model is said to boast a total of six sensors. Aside from the traditional front- and rear-facing shooters, Amazon will incorporate four VGA cameras located at the four corners of the device for accurate gesture and 3D eye tracking.

As for the eye tracking function, the device is rumored to sport a user interface that can detect where a user is looking and shift objects on screen to create a virtual glasses-free 3D experience. Sources who have seen the smartphone say the result is something like a hologram.

Further, a reliable source told AppleInsider in October that Amazon's handset will be equipped with a 4.7-inch touchscreen and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. The company is planning to build between 5 to 10 million units over the second quarter, though the WSJ's report suggests those plans may have been pushed back.
post #2 of 35
I don't think this 3D display tech and Air Gestures are going to be much more than gimmicks. I mean, was it ever on Maynard Um's radar?

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post #3 of 35
Well... The thing about Amazon is that they will stay in the market losing money until they get it right. Competitors with deep pockets..

Personally I hope they at least report honest sales figures.
post #4 of 35
"Aside from the traditional front- and rear-facing shooters, Amazon will incorporate four VGA cameras located at the four corners of the device for accurate gesture and 3D eye tracking".

I can hear it now:

"Hey Jeff, this thing isn't picking up my gestures and the Eye ID isn't working!"

Bezos: "You're holding it wrong!"
post #5 of 35

Or, you know, they could put an autostereoscopic LCD panel in it like the Nintendo 3DS and NOT BUILD A PHONE THAT IS RECORDING YOU THE ENTIRE TIME YOU USE IT.

post #6 of 35
I don't like the idea of them coming to the phone market. I have a feeling it's going to be really inexpensive and cheap parts.
post #7 of 35
One word: FLOP!

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post #8 of 35
Two words: MAJOR FLOP.
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achillies7 View Post

I don't like the idea of them coming to the phone market. I have a feeling it's going to be really inexpensive and cheap parts.

So don't buy it. Problem solved. 

 

I don't own nor have I ever even seen or used an Amazon tablet up close but from what I understand the people that own them seem fairly content. I think Amazon could steal a lot of sales from Samsung and HTC for people that insist on Android and since Amazon is not true Android that forking is a good thing for Apple. Amazon is interesting because they hope to control their app store and also make money off of content and apps like Apple. I wouldn't be surprised to see Amazon buy HTC or another smaller manufacturer one day because I think they want to be a big competitor to both Samsung and Google. Amazon are extremely persistent and stubborn. It took a few tries but that Fire HD is selling pretty well and got some good reviews. 

post #10 of 35
As soon as Amazon comes to market with this, the DOJ will suddenly investigate Apple on the price of data plans.
post #11 of 35
Here we go again.. another jack of all trades
post #12 of 35
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post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Or, you know, they could put an autostereoscopic LCD panel in it like the Nintendo 3DS and NOT BUILD A PHONE THAT IS RECORDING YOU THE ENTIRE TIME YOU USE IT.




Yes!

Why aren't more people bothered by this?
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No Matte == No Sale :-(
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post #14 of 35
Very niche market, the kindles are ok for what they do, but build quality and overall utility can lag.
post #15 of 35
I want to scoff, but Amazon has miraculously put out some of the most compelling tablet offerings outside of Apple. For straight video watching, you can't beat a Kindle HDX. This phone could be intriguing.
post #16 of 35
Just what the world needs, another cheap smartphone.
post #17 of 35
Amazon makes its money from online retail and Amazon web services, while Google makes its money from search. They are going to take market share from the iPhone, which is Apple's money making machine. With no new products, Apple's profit will shrink.
post #18 of 35
I think it is a gimmik...
Main issue is how those additional cameras running all the time effect the battery life .
Is it worth the gimmick ?
I dont think so !

Ps. Doesn't samdung have eye tracking no one uses?
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter236 View Post

Amazon makes its money from online retail and Amazon web services, while Google makes its money from search. They are going to take market share from the iPhone, which is Apple's money making machine. With no new products, Apple's profit will shrink.

You're still here? Ugh.
post #20 of 35
I think eye tracking will be a huge part of the next big OS revolution. Can't wait for it to show up in real products.
post #21 of 35
Originally Posted by peter236 View Post
Amazon makes its money

 

Amazon makes no money.

 
…Google makes its money from search.

 

But not its products.

 
They are going to take market share from the iPhone…


Nope.

 
…which is Apple’s money making machine.

 

As is every other product and service Apple provides.

 
With no new products, Apple's profit will shrink. 

 

High powered, revved up, FUDdy machine.

post #22 of 35
I have a kindle fire hd. Figured it was worth the $99 Black Friday price. If it is any indication of amazons build quality then apple has nothing to worry about. I think this is just the media trying to find a new nemesis for the iphone because the samsung sponsorship is waning. Waiting to see the long lines over the weekend for the galaxy s5
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mutoneon View Post

I want to scoff, but Amazon has miraculously put out some of the most compelling tablet offerings outside of Apple. For straight video watching, you can't beat a Kindle HDX. This phone could be intriguing.

Right because nothing is better than watching 3D movies on a screen that appears to have only about 5-inches of depth from the screen plane.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveinpublic View Post

I think eye tracking will be a huge part of the next big OS revolution. Can't wait for it to show up in real products.

It already exists. Stephen Hawking uses the technology to communicate.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter236 View Post

Amazon makes its money from online retail and Amazon web services, while Google makes its money from search. They are going to take market share from the iPhone, which is Apple's money making machine. With no new products, Apple's profit will shrink.

Ah yes, the "Apple started out with 100% marketshare" meme. Ask Microsoft, Palm, Nokia, Ericsson, and Blackberry: Apple started from zero marketshare and took it away from them. Nice try.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #26 of 35
This product violate the American Handicap Disability Act...not accessible to blind people nor hearing impaired nor handicapped people with no fingers nor limb...way to discriminate...Bozo
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Or, you know, they could put an autostereoscopic LCD panel in it like the Nintendo 3DS and NOT BUILD A PHONE THAT IS RECORDING YOU THE ENTIRE TIME YOU USE IT.

Could make those inevitable phones dropped into toilets just that much more awkward.

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GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #28 of 35
This is Amazon's MO. Come out with lots of products so it looks like they are growing. The stock market will love it and call them innovative.
As some point this will come and bite them in the ass. With some many product lines, sooner or later they are going to lose a bucket load on a product that doesn't even cover cost. Then they are going to have to generate charges for unsold inventory.
A phone could be just the one. They typically sell with subsidies so are more expensive to make that the retail cost. If Amazon's phone tanks they could be on the hook for millions of phones that cost $300 bucks to make.
It will be interesting how this develops.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by DogGone View Post

This is Amazon's MO. Come out with lots of products so it looks like they are growing. The stock market will love it and call them innovative.
As some point this will come and bite them in the ass. With some many product lines, sooner or later they are going to lose a bucket load on a product that doesn't even cover cost. Then they are going to have to generate charges for unsold inventory.
A phone could be just the one. They typically sell with subsidies so are more expensive to make that the retail cost. If Amazon's phone tanks they could be on the hook for millions of phones that cost $300 bucks to make.
It will be interesting how this develops.

As noted by someone else (probably in a different thread) Amazon uses a lot of tried-and-true but commodity components. This is acceptable for their Kindle Fire and perfectly fine for their Fire TV but I have to think that making a cellphone requires a lot more consideration in terms of size and power efficiency that will make it very difficult for them to compete with other vendors with better HW expertise, and not even close to Apple's level.

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post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

I don't own nor have I ever even seen or used an Amazon tablet up close but from what I understand the people that own them seem fairly content.

My sister bought 3 of them even though I recommended she buy iPads. I was surprised to see that they're quite nice, and much better than what the Android manufacturers offer.
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post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by DogGone View Post

This is Amazon's MO. Come out with lots of products so it looks like they are growing. The stock market will love it and call them innovative.
As some point this will come and bite them in the ass. With some many product lines, sooner or later they are going to lose a bucket load on a product that doesn't even cover cost. Then they are going to have to generate charges for unsold inventory.
A phone could be just the one. They typically sell with subsidies so are more expensive to make that the retail cost. If Amazon's phone tanks they could be on the hook for millions of phones that cost $300 bucks to make.
It will be interesting how this develops.

Amazon could weather a storm like that quite easily. They have a multitude of revenue streams. If one dries up the others will just continue pumping revenue.
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post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Amazon could weather a storm like that quite easily. They have a multitude of revenue streams. If one dries up the others will just continue pumping revenue.
I contributed to one of their revenue streams earlier this afternoon. 1biggrin.gif
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post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I contributed to one of their revenue streams earlier this afternoon.

You bought Amazon's Shill Prime so you can get the newest anti-Apple rhetoric delivered to your door in 2 days? 1biggrin.gif (THIS IS JUST A JOKE)
Edited by SolipsismX - 4/13/14 at 9:48am

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post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

You bought Amazon's Shill Prime so you can get the newest anti-Apple rhetoric delivered to your door in 2 days? 1biggrin.gif

Nah, he gets it 'same day' via drone.
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post #35 of 35
Great. So now in addition to the people who walk down the street seemingly talking to themselves and those who walk down the street (and across the street in traffic!) with heads down texting some trivia, we'll now have people looking at their pads and gesturing like Joe Cocker. (I wonder if over the next few decades, we'll have large numbers of people who can no longer lift their heads straight).

When it doesn't quite respond as desired I expect to see a lot of middle fingers raised.
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