Is Amazon planning to launch a 3D smartphone this week?

3D imaging sounds like a sales gimmick and it probably is - unless Amazon can persuade Apple and Samsung to adopt the technology.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 11 Aug 2014

Two weeks ago Amazon released a rather saccharine video featuring people cooing in amazement over something they were holding out of shot. If the rumours flying round the tech community are true, an ‘awesome…neat…intuitive’ 3D smartphone will be unveiled on Wednesday.

A genuine innovation could well shake up the crowded smartphone market. However, HTC, LG and Samsung have all tried out phones featuring 3D imaging with no need for specs, the latter four years ago. They are still very much niche products - 3D is a cool idea that isn’t much actual use.

Amazon’s rumoured version could, though, be more than just a gimmick. Firstly, it will probably be better than its predecessors: the phone reportedly has four front-facing cameras that track the position of a user’s face and eyes and projects the image accordingly.

More importantly, the 3D feature could be a big selling tool for Amazon – the better you can see a product online, the more likely you are to buy it.

An Amazon phone is still unlikely to create a tsunami in the smartphone market by itself. However, the ecommerce giant is apparently working with third party developers to create apps that use their 3D technology. The more uses for 3D, the more likely Apple and Samsung will be persuaded to start including it on their phones.

But if 3D doesn’t become a commonplace app feature, Amazon is unlikely to, ahem, Kindle any excitement with its smartphone.

Check out Amazon's trailer for its Wednesday annoucement:

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