Amazon working on a 'Smith' phone with 3D eye tracking
A second, low-cost phone running Fire OS is still in the works
Computerworld - Amazon is reportedly building a smartphone with 3D eye-tracking ability, according to unnamed sources cited by TechCrunch.
Reports have surfaced for at least two years that Amazon is developing smartphones, which seems likely given that the online retailer is already into its third generation of tablets with two new Kindle Fire HDX devices.
Other details in the TechCrunch report indicate Amazon is also building a second inexpensive smartphone that will launch later this year. That phone runs on software akin to the Fire OS in the Kindle Fire HDX.
TechCrunch derived part of its information from an anonymous Hacker News posting that said the model with 3D eye tracking is code-named "Smith."
The Hacker News posting said Amazon had hoped to launch the Smith 3D tracking phone already, but engineers encountered problems with both software and hardware and then some people working on the project left the company.
The hacker post also indicates the front of the Smith phone has four cameras -- one at each corner of the device -- to track a user's head and eyes and then move the user interface accordingly to give an impression of 3D.
Another feature would provide image recognition software that allows a user to photograph a real-world object and compare it to an Amazon product database for a potential purchase.
The lower-cost phone could be the same one that earlier reports had said would be free. Amazon in September denied it was releasing a smartphone at all in 2013 and if it did so, it wouldn't be free.
TechCrunch reported that the two phones are being developed in a locked-down facility and can't be taken from the building.
Amazon didn't comment on the report.
Analyst Jack Gold, of J. Gold Associates, said it isn't surprising that Amazon is reported to be working on two smartphones. "Amazon sees the mobile platforms as a window into its service, just as it already does with its Kindle tablets," he said.
It's not critical for Amazon to make smartphones, he said, but with Apple, Google and, more recently, Microsoft, in the smartphone space, it would make sense for Amazon to join them, but "gear it towards a uniquely Amazon experience."
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
Read more about Smartphones in Computerworld's Smartphones Topic Center.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Building a Bridge to the Next Generation Data Center Selecting a widely adopted operating system is a foundational component of a standardization strategy.
- OpenStack and Red Hat: IDC White paper Most OpenStack deployments are by public cloud providers that are early adopters of technology and use OpenStack in a do-it-yourself deployment and support...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Smartphones White Papers | Webcasts