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Hot on the heels of reports that Amazon’s smartphone would utilize four front-facing cameras to achieve glasses-free 3D visuals, a new report on BGR today doubles down on those rumors. According to the post—which includes supposed photos of an unreleased prototype in a protective case—the phone will have a total of six cameras: one 13-megapixel camera on the rear, one traditional “face-time” camera on the front, and then four infrared cameras dotting each corner of the front display.

The post says that those infrared cameras will “track the position of the users’ face and eyes in relation to the phone’s display,” allowing “Amazon’s software to make constant adjustments to the positioning of on-screen elements, altering the perspective of visuals on the screen.” The result will apparently be glasses-free 3D, or “autostereoscopy,” just as the Wall Street Journal had reported late last week.

Image via BGR

As for how that 3D will be implemented, that’s still somewhat vague. The post explains that Amazon’s smartphone will offer up wallpaper from the home screen that will take advantage of the 3D visual effect, and that the online retailer’s apps—like its bookstore or music store apps, for instance—will also take advantage of the 3D visualization. That could mean being able to get a better look at products from various angles, rather than being stuck with a simple two-dimensional view. Amazon is also reportedly in talks with other developers to make their apps compatible with the phone’s 3D imaging as well.

That raises questions, however: if a developer doesn’t bother to make their app and icons optimized for the phone’s display, what will the combined experience of 3D and non-3D visuals look like?

The post also offers up a few specs about the handset: it’ll have a 4.7-inch display, 720p resolution, a Snapdragon processor, and 2GB of RAM. Unsurprisingly, the smartphone will also run the forked version of Android that’s been on Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets, so expect some barriers to full Android enjoyment when this phone is finally released.

The post says it’ll debut in a few months, while a lower-end, more affordable device will launch later. As to whether or not that device will also offer up glasses-free 3D visuals isn’t mentioned.

So what’s the end result here? A smartphone with glasses-free 3D effects on some apps and menus, running a heavily modified version of Android with a very solid amount of RAM (more than what’s rumored to be on the iPhone 6), but less-than-optimal HD resolution. While glasses-free 3D is a neat trick, unless you have applications that can handle it, it’s not quite all it’s cracked up to be.

The Nintendo 3DS is a lot of fun, and has some really great games that run in 3D. But when the device launched, many people hoped that 3D Netflix and Hulu would be around the corner. Several years after the device’s release, that has yet to materialize. What will we get out of a 3D smartphone in an age when the public seems to have lost interest with 3D in general?

Hopefully when the smartphone does finally make its debut in the next few months, Amazon will reveal a whole lot more about what this device can do, and why it’ll wow me into wanting one. For now, I’m still skeptical. What do you think?

[Source and Images via BGR]


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