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Photos of Alleged Amazon Smartphone Surface

by Todd Haselton | April 15, 2014April 15, 2014 8:00 am PST

It’s been more than a year now that we’ve heard rumors that Amazon is working on at least one smartphone, and today we may be getting the first glimpse at what the device looks like. Images published by BGR show a prototype of the new Amazon smartphone inside what appears to be a protective cover meant to keep prying eyes out. However, there are a few revealing tidbits.

First, notice the sensors all around the display. This lines up with rumors that the phone will come equipped with several cameras that may be used to provide a gesture-based 3D interface, though they’re also reportedly being used to track your eyes and face. In other words, consumers may be able to interact with Amazon’s smartphone in a similar fashion to how they might interact with a Microsoft Kinect.

The Wall Street Journal has also suggested the display itself will provide 3D imagery without the need for 3D glasses, though we largely saw that technology drop off several years ago, primarily because the tech felt half baked. Amazon may have a reason to bring that back.

BGR said the 4.7-inch 720p 3D display will be used to show off products and allow users to view different angles of a product while shopping. That sounds like a compelling use-case scenario for a 3D display, but it also sounds like a bit of a gimmicky shopping experience, and it probably has no use applying to Amazon’s media content offerings.

The phone is reportedly set to launch sometime this summer, but may be announced within the next couple of months — though other rumors have suggested it won’t ship until September. A second model is also reportedly in the works, and that lines up with reports suggesting Amazon was building as many as three smartphones.

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Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...