Amazon still working on two smartphones, one with a 3D interface, says new leak

Where is that Amazon smartphone

We’ve been hearing about an Amazon-branded smartphone for more than a year now, however the company has concentrated its hardware efforts on the Kindle Fire tablets, culminating in the new HDX models announced earlier this month. The rumors have continued to spread regarding a phone though, with varying reports arguing about whether the resulting device would be free or not. We’ve even heard talk about Amazon experimenting with 3D technology.

The latter rumor has now popped up in another leak, after an anonymous poster wrote about Amazon’s plans on the Hacker News forum. The post, entitled, “Insider’s details about the Amazon Phone,” is far from official, but TechCrunch has since confirmed some of the details with its sources, lending it some credibility.

Apparently, rather than being a full-on 3D phone like the LG Optimus 3D, the device – codename Smith – will feature a 3D user interface. This doesn’t sound very exciting until you hear it’ll operate using four different, corner-mounted cameras to track head and eye movements, so you can navigate through screens and peek around corners to see alternative controls. The front cameras would also ignore faces on the edge of the screen (mates looking over your shoulder, for example), and the rear camera may use object identification to scan and search for the item in Amazon’s own store.

However, a phone with five or six cameras (four for the eye-tracking, and potentially two regular lenses) could make the Smith an expensive phone, and that’s before adding in the development and implementation of the 3D UI. So, Amazon may release a second, cheaper phone to go along with it. Codename Project B, it could use a similar, scaled down version of the Fire tablet’s operating system.

Amazon’s plans to release these two smartphones have been scuppered by staff leaving the company, engineers being moved to other projects, and extended testing of the software and hardware. This has resulted in the release date being shifted around, and it’s still not clear if either will be announced this year.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Wearables

10 top features you should be using on your Apple Watch

The Apple Watch can do more than just tell you the time, but you may not be aware of all the different functions it has. Our list of the 10 most often used functions and features will help you understand what it can really do.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Mobile

Sony is showing something off at MWC -- will it be the Xperia XZ4?

Sony may have released the Xperia XZ3 in the past few months, but already it's preparing to release a follow-up, the Xperia XZ4. We're learning plenty about the phone now some details have started to leak out, and it's getting exciting.
Mobile

Here are the best selfie cameras on the market, according to DxOMark

DxOMark, the company known for testing cameras, is now extending its smartphone analysis to include the front-facing camera. The Selfie ranking will be kept separate from the overall mobile score.
Deals

Here are 19 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 19 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Product Review

It may be basic, but the TicWatch E2 is all the smartwatch you need

Want a smartwatch that can track heart rate, has GPS, and interact with notifications — for cheap? Mobvoi’s Google Wear OS-based TicWatch E2 can do it all, for just $160.
Mobile

Mobvoi’s TicWatch E2 and S2 are the most affordable Wear OS smartwatches yet

Quality smartwatches don't have to be expensive, and Mobvoi's TicWatch is the proud paladin of that philosophy. Mobvoi's new TicWatch S2 and are both available for low prices from Amazon and Mobvoi's website.
Deals

Save up to $950 with the best smartphone deals for January 2019

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $950.
Product Review

Honor schools other phone makers on design with the hole-punch View 20

The Honor View 20 is Honor’s best phone to date. Why? Just look at the punch hole screen, the striking design, and the exciting 48-megapixel camera for evidence. Here’s our review.
Mobile

Apple Pay coming to more top U.S. stores, including Target and Taco Bell

Apple Pay is the best way to pay on your iPhone and Apple Watch. Apple Pay support is being rolled out across the U.S. for a variety of top retailers, including Taco Bell, Target, Hy-Vee, and more.
Music

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.
Mobile

The 2020 iPhones may only use OLED displays and Intel 5G modems

While some reports hinted that Apple was looking to move away from using Intel tech, a new report suggests the exact opposite. Reportedly, Apple has chosen Intel to supply 5G modems for Apple's first 5G-enabled iPhone, due in 2020.
Home Theater

Spotify adds artist-blocking feature, despite its denials

Though it continues to claim you can't do it, there is plenty of evidence that Spotify added an artist-blocking feature to its platform, making it easy for users to never hear a specific musician or band.