Amazon’s Fire Phone gives new perspective, not actual 3D

June 18, 2014

So, a 3D phone — that’s not exactly what we got from the Fire Phone, but we did get a new perspective on displays. By tilting and maneuvering the Fire Phone, we get an entirely new look, and perhaps even details we’re not catching on the screen.

First, the “3D” effect isn’t so much true 3D as it is dynamic perspective. CEO Jeff Bezos used art to get his point across, noting that as artists use perspective to give richer detail, so can the phone. The demo gave us a look at the Empire State Building from above, which is a bit like Google Maps does with perspective, only better. It also reminds us of Facebook's Paper app for iOS, where tilting the phone scrolls side-to-side in an image so you see the whole thing.

There was also a demonstration of gestures, but not as you might think. By flicking the phone itself, you can scroll through things like a book. You can also tilt the phone to scroll, and set it to keep scrolling at that speed. This tilt-to-see also seems to work within the OS itself, tilting to scroll through apps and such.

The “3D” thing is more perspective than 3D, which was smart -- even if "3D" is the best way to reference the technology. We’ve got to say, it looks nice, and relying on actual 3D would have probably given this device a shorter lifespan. Developers will probably get on board with a dynamic perspective, where screens and scrolling has depth, but actual 3D is a very different animal.

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  • Zoid

    Nothing new. I’ve seen this already on wallpapers.