June 17, 2014, 6:11 AM —
So this Wednesday Amazon is holding a launch event for...something. All signs point to that something being the long-rumored Amazon phone.
I'm a little concerned as I've written about the rumors surrounding this phone and dismissed them as being a bit too out there. To refresh your memory, the rumors said the phone would have a glasses-free 3D interface and would be controlled by tilting it (or by tilting your head).
That seemed like too awkward a system to be real to me and I said so, but this teaser video Amazon shared a few weeks ago pretty clearly shows people using some kind of handheld device that involves tilting either it or your head:
I'll hold on tight to my prediction that it's awkward though. Some of the people in that video are really rocking and swaying, which WOULD be a cool way to interface with your phone for about 10 minutes until the novelty wore off; after that it'd just be annoying.
I'm also worried about performance and battery life. If we take the rumors (originally shared by BGR) as confirmed, we're talking about a phone with 6 cameras, four of which are constantly being used for face tracking in order for the tilt stuff to work well (presumably the phone reacts to tilting in relation to your face; you don't want all kinds of events firing off when you swing the phone down to put it in your pocket). It seems like that would take a lot of horsepower and juice but I guess we'll see on Wednesday.
More interesting is how Amazon will get it into consumer's hands. Will Amazon Prime members get a pricing break? The Verge seems to think so, based in part on an article at the New York Times which suggests the point of an Amazon phone is just to make it easier for us all to spend more money at Amazon. More phones in users' hands equals more retail revenue for Amazon, or so the theory goes.
I don't know...do people do a lot of shopping from their phone? I guess Amazon thinks they do, or will given the right device. I'm looking forward to hearing what the company has to tell us tomorrow.
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