5 features an Amazon smartphone might offer

Apr 19 2014, 18:39 IST
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Some unconfirmed reports say the Amazon smartphone could have a 3-D interface and multiple front-facing cameras. Some unconfirmed reports say the Amazon smartphone could have a 3-D interface and multiple front-facing cameras.
SummaryA report this week in The Wall Street Journal said that Amazon is planning to release a smartphone.

A report this week in The Wall Street Journal that Amazon is planning to release a smartphone has prompted industry analysts and technology blogs to muse about what the device might offer.

Amazon hasn't confirmed that it has plans for a smartphone. Introducing such a device would be tough in a crowded market dominated by Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics. Even so, innovations like the Kindle Fire and Prime membership program demonstrate that the online retailing giant has a knack for using its massive size and marketing budget to capitalize on gaps in the marketplace.

Some unconfirmed reports say the phone could have a 3-D interface and multiple front-facing cameras.

Here's a look at five features technology experts believe Amazon might include on its smartphone.

1. 3-D shopping

A 3-D interface doesn't require special glasses could have a lot of uses. For example, when you're shopping online, you could pull up a 3-D image of sneakers or a jacket and see all of the features easier, suggests Bill Menezes, principal research analyst at Gartner. Another possibility: you could scan your living room to make a 3-D rendering. Then, when you're out furniture shopping, take a picture and digitally insert the product into the rendering to see if it fits.

"You could see `Oh that's how that purple couch looks in the bedroom, I think I'll buy it,' and you avoid buyer's remorse," says Ramon Llamas, research manager of research firm IDC's mobile phones team.

2. Enhanced games

Amazon is rapidly expanding into the gaming arena with its Amazon Game Studio and video game offerings on its new streaming device, Amazon Fire TV.

"A phone could be a way to help them potentially push more on the game front," says CRT Capital analyst Neil Doshi.

The phone's purported 3-D interface could be a way to offer a more robust gaming experience.

3. Seamless grocery shopping

Amazon has been testing a Wi-Fi wand called Amazon Dash that simplifies barcode scanning. Such capabilities could be included in the Amazon phone to improve on current barcode scanning apps. Combine that with Amazon's same-day grocery service Amazon Fresh, currently in testing in Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and grocery shopping could be drastically simplified. Rather than dragging a shopping cart through aisles -or even scrolling through a list of products online- a quick wave of the phone in your pantry could have all your groceries at your doorstep within hours.

"It's an opportunity to continue to tie

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