With the Fire Phone, Amazon is introducing a new way to get around your smartphone's interface, with 3D effects.
Wait no, come back! This isn't the pop-out-of-the-screen 3D we've seen attempted to ill effect so often in the past, as Amazon is betting it can outdo those old attempts with something the company is calling Dynamic Perspective.
Instead of creating the illusion that an object is coming right for you, you're given a, well, dynamic perspective on things. Look at a lockscreen picture of a forest, or egyptian ruins, and you're given a chance to peer behind or around some of the objects on screen. For a more practical application, consider the maps: during the presentation, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos tilted the phone to pan about the map, getting a better angle on details like a particular street's name. Tilt the phone gently, and you'll pull up Yelp info and reviews.
Or maybe you like shopping -- in one example, Bezos pulls up a line of dresses on Amazon, and tilts the phone to scroll through the stack. Reading more to your liking? Just tilt the phone to scroll up and down a web page or e-book. You can even set things to autoscroll at a deliberate pace, essentially putting your literature on cruise control -- drop a thumb to pause it.
But this isn't about baking some accelerometers into a device and hoping folks don't wiggle too much. Amazon's Dynamic Perspective is powered by a battery of eye-tracking tech that works by knowing where your head is at all times, to make sure you're getting the best view of whatever iti s you're looking at.
Getting this all working requires a whopping four cameras -- one on each corner -- with an infrared red light, for night vision. The company collected millions of images of faces from around the world, to optimize the hardware's ability to track faces, and eyeballs, to pull of Dyanmic Perspective's magic.
Dyanmic Perspective is the sort of effect that's going to be really hard to make heads or tails of, until we get a chance to see it in action -- stay tuned.
This is a developing story. Follow CNET's live blog of Amazon's event.