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Microsoft “McLaren” Phone Said to Offer Kinect-Style Motion Sensors

by Jacob Kleinman | June 9, 2014June 9, 2014 11:15 am PDT

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Last week we saw a peek at Microsoft’s plans for upcoming smartphones, and today a new report from The Verge offers a bit more info on the company’s upcoming flagship phone, codenamed McLaren. The rumored device will apparently incorporate some Kinect-style sensors along with 3D touch technology previously developed by Nokia.

Nokia’s 3D Touch lets you control your phone with gestures, similar to some features introduced on Samsung devices and other Android phones. The technology, which will be unique to McLaren at launch, lets you play games and use applications by hovering your finger over the display. The phone would answer calls automatically when you raise it to your ear, switch the speakerphone when placed on a table, and end a call when it’s placed in your pocket. You could also dismiss a notification by waving your hand over the screen, and the device will reportedly disable orientation switch when it senses you’re lying in bed. The same grip sensors would automatically power on your device as soon as you grab it.

The device itself is a sequel to the Lumia 1020, according to The Verge’s source, and features the same rear camera hump found on the original handset. The Windows Phone 8.1 operating will also apparently get some small tweaks ahead of McLaren’s release. You’ll reportedly be able to hover over a Live Tile and open it without touching the screen to reveal more information in an explosion of smaller tiles.

We’re excited to see how Microsoft’s first in-house flagship phone turns out, and based on these features it could help take Windows Phone 8.1 to a whole new level. But whether the device can compete with Samsung’s own air gesture phones or Amazon’s upcoming 3D handset remains unclear, and we’re not expecting to get an official look at the McLaren for at least a few more months.

The Verge

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...