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.