Today, Amazon finally, officially took wraps off of their first smartphone, the Fire. While Amazon haven’t perhaps launched their device in the best way possible – inviting just 300 people to see something this new is a little bizarre – they’ve certainly delivered, and the Fire phone does in fact have some pretty wild tricks up its sleeves. As we’ve heard a number of times before now, Amazon’s Fire Phone uses four camera on each corner of the device itself to position your head and from there change the view and perspective of what you’re looking at onscreen.
Amazon is calling it “Dynamic Perspective” and what it does is track your head and then adjust the position of images onscreen to move with your head. It’s sort of like a parallax effect and it’s fairly subtle, yet certainly noticeable. If you were to move to right while viewing a map for instance, the view would move with it and your perspective of that image would have changed to correspond with your movements. Amazon has been working on this for years now and there’s even a patent in Mr Bezos’ name for the technology dating all the way back to 2008.
How does the device always see you? Well, Amazon put in 120-degree cameras and needs two of them to determine depth and gain a stereo image to create the Dynamic Perspective. If you’re covering two of the cameras with your hands, the other two will simply fill in, but the slightly creepy thing about the whole affair is that they’re always on and in the dark they continue to work by using an infrared light coming from each camera. Clearly, Amazon have put a lot of thought into this to make it a legitimate feature rather than a throwaway gimmick.
Unsurprisingly, Amazon is pretty proud of this new technology and it’s already included in a number of built-in apps, including a map application. However, the majority of what was shown off on stage surrounded the lockscreen and different themes moving around as your head moves, changing the perspective of whichever lockscreen you were looking at. These cameras can also be used for scrolling in web pages and whilst navigating the OS as they work in tandem with motion detectors to figure out where you’re looking and which way you have the phone tilted. Amazon’s Fire Phone has only just been announced, so we’re sure to have more info on this nifty trick soon.