Amazon smartphone could be controlled by tilting this way and that

The much-rumoured Amazon smartphone could be controlled by tilting it back and forth or from side to side to reveal menus, according to the latest claims.

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Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Amazon could follow the Kindle Fire HDX with a smartphone CNET

The oft-rumoured Amazon smartphone could be controlled with a twist of the wrist, as new reports claim it will work by tilting the phone hither and thither.

Earlier reports suggest that the rumoured Amazon device would be packed with cameras and sensors. Now BoyGeniusReport quotes a source suggesting that even though the phone runs Android software, the various cameras and sensors will enable you to control the phone in new ways not seen in other devices.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9

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For example, menu buttons will be replaced by a tilt to the left or right to make menus slide in from the side. Tilting up or down will scroll through the text you're reading.

Icons in some apps won't be labelled until you tilt the phone to reveal what they are. Or in apps where you display a list of results, a slight tilt will reveal ratings for the items in the list.

Is it just me, or does this sound like a terrible idea? Very novel, certainly, and an interesting way of clawing back screen space so the interface isn't cluttered with menus or icons. But it would require the phone to be very, very good at tracking which movements are intentional gestures and which are cack-handed wobbles of the wrists -- or there'll be menus sliding in left, right and centre when you're just trying to send a text.

Watch this: Products we wish Amazon would make

All this puts me in mind of the various gimmicky interface options on the Samsung Galaxy S4 , such as tracking your eye movements to scroll through Web pages or to pause videos when you look away.

One thing's for sure, if Amazon can pull this stuff off better than the S4, then the Amazon phone just got a whole lot more interesting.

An Amazon phone has been rumoured for years, but it seems this time it could be real -- and now that smartphones aren't as shackled to the carriers in the US, and Amazon has experience from its Kindle Fire tablets, we'd argue now's the perfect time for a Kindlephone. What do you think of the latest rumours? Tilt your way to the comments to have your say.