Amazon phone has gesture, motion control, new rumors say

The Amazon logo is projected onto a screen at a press conference on September 6, 2012 in Santa Monica, California. David McNew/Getty Images

Appearing to be one of the most advanced phones ever invented, rumors have continued to swirl around Amazon's yet-to-be-announced 3D smartphone.

According to a new report by BGR, the phone -- which will be powered by a heavily customized version of Android -- will have a combination of cameras, sensors and software, dramatically changing the way that users interact with a smartphone.

In addition to features first reported by the Wall Street Journal, including retina-tracking technology and technology that will sense the movement of a person's eyes -- as well as the phone's screen -- to make some images appear 3D, Amazon's handset will introduce a variety of unique gesture controls, BGR reports.

CNET noted that similar interface options are available on the Samsung Galaxy S4, such as tracking users' eye movements to scroll through Web pages or pausing videos when they look away.

The smartphone will have no traditional menu buttons, according to the blog's unnamed sources. Instead, the gesture controls will display additional information without the user having to touch or tap anything. These gestures will vary from app to app.

For example, tilt gestures will activate different functions in different apps, according to the report. A slight tilt will reveal labels under small icons in the phone's email and calendar apps. In Amazon's video store, a tilt gesture will also display IMDb ratings on top of movie thumbnails. Another tilt in the messaging app will "open up a panel with the phone's camera roll, allowing users to quickly and easily insert a photo," according to BGR.

The phone is also said to have optical character recognition software installed, allowing users to take photos of text and have it converted into a note.

Cell phone manufacturing will be the latest market that Amazon has infiltrated as it continues to broaden its offerings. Earlier in April, the company introduced Amazon Fire TV, a video-streaming and gaming console, and has offered the Kindle e-reader since 2007. Both Fire TV and Kindle Fire use forked versions of the Android operating systems.

A formal announcement is expected sometime in late spring or early summer, and phones should be shipping by September. Suppliers say the company plans an initial order of 600,000 phones, according to sources cited in the Wall Street Journal's initial report.

It is not definitively known what features and operating system the phone will have and the company has yet to say which carriers the phone will be available on.

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