Amazon Developing a 3D Smartphone?


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If you're old enough, you remember the original Star Wars movie from 1977 where a hologram of Princess Leia says, "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope." Movie watchers, at the time, believed that technology like that would go from science fiction to mainstream technology.

If science fiction was a guide, the year would be no later than 2001. (You know, based on the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Any sci-fi fans in the house?)

What does sci-fi have to do with phones? The smartphone market is feeling a little dull. Putting a picture of a CPU on your website and calling it, a giant leap forward seems to be the norm these days and customers are getting a little tired of it. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) can put a fingerprint sensor in its next iPhone and while it might be interesting, it's doubtful that people are going to fall in love with such a feature.

But how about a 3D phone that was controlled by your eyeballs? Now that would be interesting. According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) may be designing a line of high end phones with those features built in.

According to the report, the master of all things ecommerce is developing two smartphones and a device that would presumably stream content-a company it owns.

According to the story, "using retina-tracking technology, images on the smartphone would seem to float above the screen like a hologram and appear three-dimensional at all angles, [sources] said. Users may be able to navigate through content using just their eyes, two of the people said."

PCMag reported that an Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the report saying that the company doesn't comment on rumors.

Of course, the smartphone rumor mill is abuzz with this, presumably because the Apple grapevine has produced little fruit lately. But news that Amazon is producing a smartphone isn't new. Remember when news broke in April that an Apple executive updated his Linkedin (NASDAQ: LNKD ) profile to say that he was now working for Amazon to develop,"something secret?"

What the Wall Street Journal is calling Project A, B, C, and D are apparently being developed in its Cupertino, California lab but before you have visions of Princess Leia hovering over your phone, the same report indicates that The Alphabet Project (seriously, that's what it's apparently called) may never see daylight due cost and performance problems.

"Help us, Apple. You're our only hope."

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker was long Apple and believes the original sequels to the newer prequels were better movies.

(c) 2013 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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