Amazon 3D smartphone’s photos, features leaked

The first alleged photos of Amazon's upcoming smartphone have leaked online, revealing that the device will have as many as five cameras in front.

The images have been leaked by US-based technology website and show the smartphone covered in a body case in order to hide its design. However, the front panel can be seen, showing that four of the front cameras will be placed at each corner of the display, while the fifth one will operate as the standard smartphone camera and support video calls and selfies. This smartphone will also have a rear camera.

The four cameras on the sides run on low-power infrared and work in conjunction with other sensors to track how far the user's face and eyes are from the phone's display panel. This technology will allow Amazon smartphone to constantly adjust how the on-screen elements, such as text and images, are placed and create a glasses-free 3D experience, a feature that has been rumoured earlier as well.

This 3D experience is said to be the key selling point of Amazon's first smartphone. The online retail giant is reported to have created apps and wallpapers that make use of this technology. The wallpapers will "shift perspectives" as users move their head from top to bottom as well as from left to right, the report says.

Amazon has used the 3D effect in app icons as well as "other core elements of the user interface." For example, the software will alter how various items are viewed on the screen in mapping apps. In Amazon's online marketplace, users will also be able to see product images in 3D at different angles to see items from all sides, which is not possible in standard 2D images.

The e-commerce titan also plans to tap third-party developers to create apps for its new smartphone. It will make available APIs (needed by developers to create compatible apps for any platform) and help developers in other ways, the report says.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had earlier written about the specifications of Amazon's 3D smartphone in a research note. According to him, the phone will have a 4.7-inch 720p display, Snapdragon 801 processor, 13MP rear camera with Sony sensor and 2,000-2,400mAh battery. The four low-power infrared front cameras will be supplied by Primax.

According to several reports, this smartphone is likely to be announced in the next couple of months. Another model, featuring low-end specifications and an aggressive price tag, is expected to be showcased in late third quarter or early fourth quarter of the year.

Technology website TechCrunch has reported that this smartphone will run on FireOS, the custom version of Android that also powers Amazon's Kindle range of tablets and Fire TV set-top box. This operating system will render "extreme" parallax effect on the smartphone and simulate 3D effect on the screen. Parallax effect in Apple's iOS 7 reportedly makes users sick.

An earlier report by The Wall Street Journal says that Amazon's 3D simulation technology "would be ideal for gaming." The smartphone's software would also be customized to support "very visual games" and designed to render a sense of depth on the flat screen. Its eye-tracking technology will monitor whether the user has moved closer to the screen and automatically zoom into images.

Amazon is said to be in talks with two display makers, include Apple supplier Japan Display, to produce the screen of the smartphone. The handset is also expected to go into mass production later in April, with an initial order of 600,000 units.

There is no word on the pricing of the smartphone yet. The online retailer sells its hardware at cost, making no profit from the sale of the device itself. Instead, it earns by selling content, such as games, videos and apps, to buyers from its app marketplace.
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