Here’s What The Amazon Fire Phone’s Crazy 3D Head Tracking Looks Like

This morning — as expected — Amazon announced their very first smartphone. While many of its features can be found on other devices, it’s got at least one trick that’s particularly unique: a complex camera system that tracks the position of your head and shifts the perspective of what’s on screen accordingly.

The end result? Trippy, glasses-free 3D. Here’s what it looks like in motion.

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Amazon Debuts The Fire Phone

This morning — as expected — Amazon announced their very first smartphone. While many of its features can be found on other devices, it’s got at least one trick that’s particularly unique: a complex camera system that tracks the position of your head and shifts the perspective of what’s on screen accordingly.

The end result? Trippy, glasses-free 3D. Here’s what it looks like in motion.

The more drastic your head/wrist movements, the more the on-screen perspective will shift.

It’s easy to imagine this being used in games (like a puzzler that requires you to inspect an object for hidden bits).

It works on Maps, too!

Want to look behind that building? Now you can look behind that building.

Hidden Menus

Amazon is also experimenting with using head tracking for UI navigation. Here, for example, we see someone giving the phone a quick twist to reveal a menu, without ever touching the screen.

More hidden menus!

Because nothing says “intuitive” like hidden menus that require the user to flick their wrist.

Auto Scrolling

Love reading, but hate having to do all that tiring moving your finger slightly to turn the page? The Fire’s built-in Kindle app can combine the data from its front-facing cameras with data from the accelerometer for infinite page scrolling.

It works on web pages, too!

Now you can expend even less energy while screwing around on the Internet.

The video that started it all

Here’s the video that is said to have inspired Amazon’s interest in building such a device.

Back in 2007, then-CMU student Johnny Lee hacked together his own crazy, on-the-fly perspective shifting. Using a wii remote and two infrared LEDs strapped to his head, he was able to simulate the illusion of depth/perspective on his TV.

The future? Probably not.

So what do you think: is this the future of smartphone UI navigation? A silly gimmick? Something in between?