Amazon readying smartphone with 3D DISPLAY – report

Futuristic mobe part of broader push into consumer tech


If Amazon does release its own smartphone, it won't be just another me-too number, according to a new report that says the online retailer is working on a handset with a 3D holographic display.

Citing anonymous sources, The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon's device will use "retina-tracking technology" to make images appear to be hovering above the surface of the screen from all angles, without requiring special glasses.

Two of those same tattle-tales said the Amazon phone will also allow users to navigate content using only their eyes, something LG and Samsung haven't quite managed with their recent, eyeball-tracking mobes.

Not much else concrete has been revealed about the Amazonian handsets, other than that they will support 4G LTE connectivity and will be powered by chips from Qualcomm – meaning that, to our ears at least, these latest rumors sound about as vaporous as all of the other Android-phone murmurs we've been hearing for years.

Yet the WSJ's sources insist that not only is Amazon's futuristic phone real, but it's only the beginning of the e-tailer's big push into consumer electronics, which will soon see it offer a variety of devices aimed at delivering streaming media and other content.

According to the report, Amazon is developing at least four devices at a skunkworks facility in Cupertino, California, dubbed "Lab 126". The projects are so secretive that they're known internally only as the Alphabet Projects: Project A, B, C, and D.

Past leaks may have already given an inkling of what these projects might be, however. A more typical smartphone without the 3D display and eye-tracking tech might be one – some reports have suggested that Amazon plans to release such a device in the second quarter of 2013. A TV set-top box that can stream Amazon Prime Instant Video content is another likely candidate.

As for the third device, the WSJ suggests it may be some kind of audio-only streaming media device, which will be accompanied by a new Amazon music-streaming service to compete with the likes of Pandora and Spotify.

There was no word on whether Amazon plans to use its Kindle brand for these devices, nor when they will be ready to market, except to say that Amazon may release some of them "in the coming months."

In fact, the WSJ's sources observed that the Alphabet Projects might not even surface at all. Any or all of them could be shelved, the report not-very-helpfully states, "because of performance, financial, or other concerns."

Amazon did not immediately respond to The Register's request for comment. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Amazon fears it could run out of US warehouse workers by 2024
    Internal research says the hiring pool has already dried up in a number of locations stateside

    Jeff Bezos once believed that Amazon's low-skill worker churn was a good thing as a long-term workforce would mean a "march to mediocrity." He may have to eat his words if an internal memo is accurate.

    First reported by Recode, the company's 2021 research rather bluntly says: "If we continue business as usual, Amazon will deplete the available labor supply in the US network by 2024."

    Some locations will be hit much earlier, with the Phoenix metro area in Arizona expected to exhaust its available labor pool by the end of 2021. The Inland Empire region of California could reach breaking point by the close of this year, according to the research.

    Continue reading
  • Amazon not happy with antitrust law targeting Amazon
    We assume the world's smallest violin is available right now on Prime

    Updated Amazon has blasted a proposed antitrust law that aims to clamp down on anti-competitive practices by Big Tech.

    The American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA) led by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and House Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) is a bipartisan bill, with Democrat and Republican support in the Senate and House. It is still making its way through Congress.

    The bill [PDF] prohibits certain "online platforms" from unfairly promoting their own products and services in a way that prevents or hampers third-party businesses in competing. Said platforms with 50 million-plus active monthly users in the US or 100,000-plus US business users, and either $550 billion-plus in annual sales or market cap or a billion-plus worldwide users, that act as a "critical trading partner" for suppliers would be affected. 

    Continue reading
  • Amazon shows off robot warehouse workers that won't complain, quit, unionize...
    Mega-corp insists it's all about 'people and technology working safely and harmoniously together'

    Amazon unveiled its first "fully autonomous mobile robot" and other machines designed to operate alongside human workers at its warehouses.

    In 2012 the e-commerce giant acquired Kiva Systems, a robotics startup, for $775 million. Now, following on from that, Amazon has revealed multiple prototypes powered by AI and computer-vision algorithms, ranging from robotic grippers to moving storage systems, that it has developed over the past decade. The mega-corporation hopes to put them to use in warehouses one day, ostensibly to help staff lift, carry, and scan items more efficiently. 

    Its "autonomous mobile robot" is a disk-shaped device on wheels, and resembles a Roomba. Instead of hoovering crumbs, the machine, named Proteus, carefully slots itself underneath a cart full of packages and pushes it along the factory floor. Amazon said Proteus was designed to work directly with and alongside humans and doesn't have to be constrained to specific locations caged off for safety reasons. 

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022