Amazon may be developing 3D smartphone

Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Amazon is preparing to announce the next generation of smartphones, the Wall Street Journal reports. The new phone will feature a 3D screen - and users will not need to use 3D glasses to see the effects.

The phone will "employ retina-tracking technology embedded in four front-facing cameras, or sensors, to make some images appear to be 3-D, similar to a hologram," sources tell the Journal.

Common features, like zooming in to get a closer look at a photo, will happen automatically. "The 3-D screen technology can sense the movement of a person's eyes and whether the screen is moving closer to a user's face," they report. "In response, the phone will be able to automatically zoom into images as it moves closer to a user's face and could manipulate text and images as a person moves the phone."

The company did not offer an official statement, but Amazon has already been showing early versions of the phone to suppliers in Seattle and San Francisco.

A formal announcement is expected in June, and phones should be shipping by September. Suppliers say the company plans an initial order of 600,000 phones, according to the Journal's sources.

This is Amazon's first foray into the cell phone hardware market, as it continues to broaden its offerings. On April 2, it introduced the video-streaming and gaming console Amazon Fire TV and it has offered the Kindle e-reader since 2007. The Fire TV and Kindle Fire use Android operating systems. The Kindle tablets offer AT&T service plans.

The company has not said which service carriers the phone will work with, or what operating system it will use.

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