Amazon's 'Smith' smartphone eyes 3D, four cameras -- report

The Internet heavyweight also is reportedly working on another smartphone that will be aimed at budget-conscious shoppers.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. James Martin/CNET

Amazon is working on not one, but two separate smartphones, according to a new report.

The e-retail giant's flagship handset is currently codenamed "Smith," TechCrunch reported on Wednesday, citing people who claim to have knowledge of its plans. The device was previously known as Project B, but after the Wall Street Journal reported on its features earlier this year, Amazon decided to change the name, according to the sources.

TechCrunch's sources have provided much of the same information on the devices as the Journal reported on earlier this year. The Smith handset will reportedly come with a 3D user interface that TechCrunch's sources say will rely on four cameras. Those cameras will sit on each corner and be able to track eye and head movements. The smartphone's software won't be 3D on its own, but thanks to the cameras, there's an "impression" that the screen is delivering 3D.

Since Amazon is behind the device, it might not be surprising that the device will come with image-recognition technology that will let a user snap a photo of a product that will then be interpreted by the software in order to bring the user to the particular product's listing on the Amazon.com e-commerce site.

In addition to the flagship handset, Amazon is also reportedly considering launching an entry-level handset that, like its higher-end counterpart, will run a modified version of FireOS -- the same operating system available on the company's Kindle Fire line. Details are slim on that device, according to TechCrunch, but its sources say that the handset will be available sometime later this year.

There's no telling when -- or if -- Amazon's rumored handsets will launch. According to TechCrunch's sources, the company had planned to get the devices on store shelves already, but faced some issues that delayed their launch.

CNET has contacted Amazon for comment on the report. We will update this story when we have more information.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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