Rumours of Amazon releasing a smartphone are back on. A new report from TechCrunch and HackerNews says that Amazon’s foray into the smartphone game goes by the internal name of ‘Project Smith’ and will see the company release two smartphones – one inexpensive model and the other with some sort of 3D eye-tracking interface.
The 3-D device is interesting. Apparently it’ll have ‘four cameras, one at each corner of the device that will be used to track eye and head motions in order to move the interface around to ‘give the impression’ of 3D.’ In addition, there’ll be a 5th camera that will take regular pictures and videos. Probably the most unique feature to come out of this rumour is the inclusion of ‘an image recognition feature that lets users take a shot of any real-world object and match it to an Amazon product for purchase.’ This would drive adoption of all Amazon’s services and also brings back the expectation that they’ll heavily discount the cost of the smartphone.
The second device goes under the codename of ‘Project B’ and is a cheaper model and will come with basic specs run Amazon’s FireOS.
There’s no solid indication of when these will become available, or when Canadians will see them, but the potential release dates are already mixed as we could see the “Amazon Phone” arrive later this year or sometime next year.
Update: A report in the Financial Times has Amazon and HTC partnering for the rumoured “Amazon Phone.” However, not two devices, but 3 smartphones coming to market. The report states that “Amazon is working with HTC to develop a range of smartphones as the e-commerce company steps up efforts to compete with Apple and Google, according to people familiar with the project.” Both Amazon and HTC decline to comment on the rumour.