Amazon Fire phone features four 'stereovision' cameras for face tracking

Amazon's newly announced Fire phone handset sports a unique 3D "Dynamic Perspective" feature made possible by several cameras that track user movement.

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Confirming long-standing rumors that Amazon would release a smartphone, the e-commerce giant unveiled its Fire phone handset today. The 4.7-inch device is equipped with a quad-core processor, a 13-megapixel camera, and a unique feature that the company calls "Dynamic Perspective."

Dynamic Perspective enables the phone to display a 3D-like interface that lends more depth and engagement to graphics and responds to user movement. Four years in the making, Amazon achieved this feature by installing four specialized cameras with a wider field of view in the front of the device to track a user's head at all times.

These cameras are located on the four corners of the device, and in conjunction with a center camera, they find a user's eyes, a process known as "stereovision." They are low-powered and include infrared LEDs so they can function in absolute darkness. At any given time, a minimum of two of these cameras work together to bring features like auto web-page scrolling and one-handed gestures to the device. For gameplay, users can tilt the display to gain new viewing angles.

Amazon also released a software development kit for developers looking to build apps that take advantage of Dynamic Perspective. The phone itself will be available July 25 starting at $199 on-contract with AT&T exclusively.

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Amazon
About the author

Lynn La is CNET's associate editor for cell phone and smartphone news and reviews. Prior to coming to CNET, she wrote for the Sacramento Bee and was a staff editor at Macworld. In addition to covering technology, she has reported on health, science, and politics.

 

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