Amazon’s Fire Phone Uses Depth And 3D Effects To Stand Out

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Amazon’s Fire Phone Introduces Firefly, A Feature That Lets You Identify (And Buy!) Things You See In The Real World

We’ve been hearing about head-tracking technology on phones for a long time now. Some have ventured into this territory already, with Samsung releasing camera-based head tracking in earlier generations of the Galaxy S phones.

Today, Amazon is trying out its own version of the gimmick with new 3D effects enabled by four cameras on the front of the phone. (We totally called this, btw.)

Bezos explained that, back in the 14th century, perspective changed the way we look at and create art. “There’s always more to see,” he said. “So what if there were a thousand artists standing by to redraw the picture every time you moved your head?”

The 3D effects features will be present throughout the phone to not only offer a more life-like experience in various apps, but also to provide the opportunity for tilt-based gestures.

It works by having four 120-degree, front-facing cameras on the phone, in each corner. At any moment, two of them are working to constantly know where you head is at any given time.

Even if you’re using the phone at night, each camera has it’s own infrared light to shine on you so the phone knows what’s going on. Amazon is calling the tracking feature “dynamic perspective.”

Amazon spent a lot of time developing this system so that the phone can always tell the difference between a picture of your face and your actual head.

Paired with Dyanamic Perspective, Amazon has also introduced 60fps 3D effects, and they aren’t just for certain applications. Amazon is currently using them to provide interesting 3D lock screens, and the effects are littered throughout the UI. For example, icons in the user interface float above other layers of the screen to provide a parallax-like effect.

Pairing these effects with tilt controls will let users switch between web pages and perform other commands, too, by simply tilting purposefully to the left or right. As we’ve seen with other phones, you can tilt to scroll through an article or web page vertically, as well.

We previously reported that Amazon is using Omron’s face-sensing technology.

A Dynamic Perspective SDK is available now to developers.

We haven’t actually tested any of it out ourselves, obviously, but the folks in the audience at the event are certainly impressed.

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