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Insider's details about the Amazon Phone
18 points by Helvodka on Oct 2, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 3 comments
Here's all I know about the Amazon Phone.

1- There are 2 versions, a cheap one that's being released by the end of the year with a basic software similar to the Kindle Fire software. The other version will be more expensive and feature a 3D UI but won't be released until at least next year. The screen itself is not 3D, but the front of the phone has 4 cameras placed on each corner of the phone, this is to track the user's eyes/head and move the UI to give the impression of 3D. Similar to what iOS 7 is achieving simply by using the phone's accelerometer. The advantage being that it's not based on how the phone moves, but how the head moves.

2- They wanted to have it launched already but had difficulties with both software and hardware, and then lots of key players left the company - a common problem at Amazon is retention, having the lowest record of any tech company.

3- As a result, several engineers from other products have moved to the phone team, making other products severely short staffed.

4- They have done testing so the software ignores other faces next to you, this is to prevent the illusion from breaking if there are many people looking at the phone.

5- The phone might have image recognition so users can take a picture of any object and search the Amazon.com database for similar products. This is not the barcode scan that's available already, but actual object recognition. This might allow them to sell the phone for cheaper since they'd make money off extra sales.

6- Current code-name for the product is "Smith".

Running four cameras just for a 3d UI? Isn't that going to be a huge battery drain with little benefit?

That should also give it depth perception for recognizing objects that it photographs. That appears to support the subsidized revenue model of the device.

Does IR/depth sensors like one in kinect work in lower power?

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