Amazon reportedly developing smartphone with glasses-free 'holographic' 3D display

in iPhone edited January 2014
Online retailer Amazon is said to be working on a "wide-ranging lineup" of new devices, including a smartphone with a display capable of producing 3D images without the need for special glasses.

Amazon's apparent plans to push even further into the hardware space were revealed on Thursday by The Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed people familiar with the company's plans. The retailer's rumored 3D-capable smartphone would "use retina-tracking technology" to produce images that appear to "float above the screen like a hologram," author Greg Bensinger wrote.

Amazon's Kindle Fire HD tablet debuted late last year..

The advanced device would apparently allow users to control it by just using their eyes. The three-dimensional image would apparently be visible from all angles ? an improvement from Nintendo's 3DS gaming console, which can only be seen in 3D without glasses from a specific vantage point.

The project is said to be in development at Amazon's "Lab126" facility, which is located in Apple's hometown of Cupertino, Calif. Beyond the 3D smartphone, Amazon is also reportedly working on a set-top box that could compete with the Apple TV.

There's no indication that any of the devices may see the light of day outside of Amazon's top-secret labs. Rumors of an Amazon-built smartphone have persisted for years, though Thursday's claim of an alleged glasses-free 3D display is a new detail.

Amazon already has a major presence in the tablet market, where its Kindle Fire competes directly with Apple's iPad. The online retailer ? known for its low-margin, high-volume business strategy ??significantly undercuts Apple's iPad lineup, with an entry-level Kindle Fire priced at $159.


  • Reply 1 of 33
    scotty321scotty321 Posts: 313member
    Someday, these tech companies will wake up & realize that nobody cares about 3D.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    normangnormang Posts: 118member

    Who in the world wants to view 3D images on a phone...

  • Reply 3 of 33
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member
    No Smell-O-Vision, too? Disappointed.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member

    Didn't 3D quietly die last year?

  • Reply 5 of 33

    Hmmm I'm not a fan of controlling things with your eyes (except women amiright fellas?) mainly because of the lack of accuracy with what you want it to do. It's kind of like the Galaxy S4's eye-controlled scroll feature, which isn't really functional in real world use. Not to mention the horizontal resolution of the device would have to effectively be doubled (or the 3D view you see will just be half the resolution). Plus the device wouldn't work in vertical mode, it's typically one or the other. I just see too many drawbacks...and I haven't even mentioned the cost to implement it on an already zero margin product.

  • Reply 6 of 33

    3-D is an interesting animal, it keeps hanging in there, its fun sometimes and I take advantage of it, when its not I don't seem to mind.

  • Reply 7 of 33
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member

    The HTC Evo, the one with the twin camera's had this stuff two years ago.


    It wasn't much of a success.

  • Reply 8 of 33
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    normang wrote: »
    Who in the world wants to view 3D images on a phone...

    Not me... Unless apple made one :smokey:
  • Reply 9 of 33
    future manfuture man Posts: 107member
    Amazon needs to make-up its mind if it is a on-line retail business or an IT business; 'no' you cannot be all things to all people unfortunately as the two businesses are too dis-similar and require totally different management. A firm, any firm, only has finite resources and if it focuses these too thinly, it risks not performing any business well and there develops diversion away from the primary business model - this same market fragmentation happened to Sears and it too can happen to Amazon. 'To thy oneself be true'.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,697member
    scotty321 wrote: »
    Someday, these tech companies will wake up & realize that nobody cares about 3D.

    Well Holography is a wee but more than 3D in the usual sense. I for one would love a Holodeck :)
  • Reply 11 of 33
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Even the very prospect of "Eye control" starts to make me seasick.....
  • Reply 12 of 33
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,385member
    Another toy to mess up your eye sight.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    tribalogicaltribalogical Posts: 1,182member


    Originally Posted by normang View Post

    Who in the world wants to view 3D images on a phone...


    More to the point, 3D images floating ABOVE the handset screen… and I really have to ask why… what's the point and purpose of having such an interface?


    I see it a bit like Samsung's "answer a call with a gesture" feature… It's too easy to imagine accidentally answering calls I don't want to answer just by virtue of coming in range of the phone, or when reaching for it to make it stop ringing… oops.


    I think the "minority report" scene where Tom Cruise stood and whipped through some cool-looking screens using 'air guitar' motions was interesting. But stepping back and thinking of it practically?


    Try this: Hold your arms out half-extended, and wave them around actively and meaningfully for a 5 full minutes continuously. 


    Yeah. Did you get all the way to five minutes without needing a break?


    The same is true of any continuous "air" motion. After awhile, you find yourself really needing the tactile reference, if nothing else but to rest your muscles.


    I use my computer for HOURS a day continuously, with only brief ergonomic breaks now and then. There is no way I could do the Minority Report thing for anywhere near that long...


    I doubt I'd want to hold my hand in mid-air over a phone for any extended period OR try maintaining a fixed gaze at a retina-controlled 3D hologram for very long either...


    It's cool-sounding stuff, and ooh-inspiring in movies, but reality is a different beast sometimes...

  • Reply 14 of 33
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,234member

    I bet it's crap.

  • Reply 15 of 33
    maltamalta Posts: 78member


    Originally Posted by tribalogical View Post

    Try this: Hold your arms out half-extended, and wave them around actively and meaningfully for a 5 full minutes continuously. 


    Yeah. Did you get all the way to five minutes without needing a break?




    Considering the obesity problem in the US, this might not be a bad thing.

  • Reply 16 of 33
    mattbookairmattbookair Posts: 172member
    I use a range of state of the are eye-trackers in my research. While technology is at the point where this could be done reliably in a laptop, perhaps even a tablet (with sufficiently spaced stereo cameras, and a good size display), what's being described in this article is nonsense. Also most current technologies work poorly if the user moves w.r.t. the display, or lighting conditions are variable.

    Also while people can of course consciously direct their eyes, there are many other cognitive processes that also cause people to shift their visual attention, making eye-tracking very poor as a traditional input method (i.e. touch/mouse replacement ... this is a hugely researched area, and the findings are pretty darn clear). The unnamed source is trying to pump up Amazon's already over-inflated stock price. I guess companies feel they need to try to show they have some "vision" (like google glass), regardless of usefulness or viability.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    curtis hannahcurtis hannah Posts: 1,832member
    Amozon is trying to sell books and other entertainment not phones! Next we have the Amozon optimized phone if anything!
  • Reply 18 of 33
    wovelwovel Posts: 956member
    I think people in tech companies are starting to have a lot of fun with really gullible "reporters" and analysts.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,381member

    Weren't "3D" Android phones all the rage a couple years ago? You know, when Apple-bashers used that bullet point, along with "flash", as to why their Android phones were so awesome an iPhone was so pathetic? What happened? Oh yeah, everyone dropped it, because it was complete shit, and a useless gimmick that nobody liked. 


    As for retina tracking technology, I was playing around with an S4 last weekend, and try as I might, I never got the "eye-tracking" bullshit to work properly once. I would have to tilt my head in extreme ways, and once in a while the screen would randomly scroll. I can't understand how Samsung could actually advertise this as a feature that people would use. Oh wait, yes I can. The way to "win" is to throw as much shittily implemented, gimmick features into your devices as possible, so you have an infinite bullet list of infuriating, useless features that "proves" how much better the phone is than an iPhone. 


    As for Kindles, I have yet to see a single Kindle Fire in the wild. I'm sure it's a run-away success, so much so that Amazon prefers to keep those sales figures secret. 

  • Reply 20 of 33
    jason98jason98 Posts: 768member


    Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

    Someday, these tech companies will wake up & realize that nobody cares about 3D.


    Are you are not interested in futuristic 3d tablets shown in the movie Avatar? I thought it looked cool.

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