Amazon’s Smith smartphone with 3D UI and product image recognition to be joined by a cheaper handset
It sure seems like the “Amazon is working on a smartphone” rumor has been around since the beginning of time. The mega retailer has a successful line of tablets, so why wouldn’t it want to dabble in the smartphone space too? Right?
Well, it hasn’t done that yet. However, the number of rumors suggesting that an Amazon smartphone is coming is growing ever larger, so they may all be on to something. We’re still not 100% sure that an Amazon smartphone will become reality, but at least it’s pretty clear that the company has been testing such devices.
Not one, but two, apparently. A high-end model and a cheaper option. The more expensive offering is said to come with 3D eye tracking, thanks to four front-facing cameras, each placed at a corner of the handset. We’ve already told you how all this should work, thanks to a number of patent filings from Amazon (and Jeff Bezos) over the years – the first of which dates back to 2008, believe it or not.
Another feature that’s being worked on for this particular device (but might not make it into the final product) would allow you to take a picture of any real-world object and through some advanced image recognition that thing would be matched to an Amazon product.
From this point on, you’ll be offered the possibility to purchase said product from Amazon, with, we imagine, just one click (or tap). This might even end up offsetting some of the cost for the development of the phone, it’s been claimed. One thing’s for sure – if such a feature makes it into the Amazon handset codenamed Smith, owners of brick-and-mortar electronics (and book) stores across the US will probably ban the thing in their premises, or something like that. This will make it even easier to simply use such brick-and-mortar avenues only to browse for a certain product, and then order it from Amazon where things are usually cheaper.
It’s unclear what exact operating system this Smith handset will run, but we assume it’s going to once again be an Android fork such as the FireOS powering Amazon’s tablets, yet with additional stuff baked in to make all the faux-3D actually work.
Speaking of FireOS, that is what’s rumored to power the second, more affordable of the two devices. This will be similar to the version found on Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets. The inexpensive Kindle smartphone could even land on the market before the end of 2013, but it may also get delayed into early next year. Things are still in flux, it seems.
Previous rumors have talked about a free Amazon handset offering, but that’s highly unlikely. What we should expect though is for the cheap Amazon phone to actually be cheap, unlike, say, the ‘cheap iPhone’ that turned out to be the not-so-cheap iPhone 5C.
Of course, since these smartphones are still under development, any of the aforementioned details could change – not to mention that the sources could simply have been wrong. That said, it’s looking more and more likely that we’ll see at least one (if not two) Amazon smartphones on the market pretty soon.