Amazon unveils 3-D Fire Phone - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Amazon unveils 3-D Fire Phone

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CNN/Ted S. Warren/AP CNN/Ted S. Warren/AP

(CNN) -- At an event in Seattle, the retail giant unveiled the Fire Phone, a high-end, 3-D smartphone. It is the first smartphone Amazon has produced on its own.

"Can we build a better phone for our most engaged customers?" asked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the event. "Can we build a better phone for Amazon Prime members? Well, I'm excited to tell you that the answer is yes."

Display: The Fire Phone has a 3-D, 4.7-inch high-definition display. It uses cameras mounted on the phone's surface to track a user's head movements and render images accordingly.

Bezos compared the Fire Phone's 3-D feature to the introduction of geometric perspective and the vanishing point in 14th century artworks.

"We're thinking maybe we can improve on that a little," he said.

Bezos demonstrates the Fire Phone's dynamic perspective feature on a 3-D map of a nearby area in Seattle. Titling the phone to the side while looking at map offered additional information -- including search results for nearby restaurants. He then tilted the phone for Yelp reviews. When looking at products online, Bezos tilted the phone side to side to scroll.

When reading news articles or books, you can tilt the phone to scroll.

"There's a better way to scroll on this phone because of the dynamic perspective.... It's a very natural, easy, one-handed gesture," Bezos said. "I think you can probably imagine what the dynamic perspective technology can enable for gamers."

Camera: The Fire Phone has a lightning-fast quad-core 2.2 GHz processor, 2 GB of RAM, and a 13 Megapixel camera. The camera comes with an optical image-stabilization feature, letting the shutter stay open four-times longer than most cameras to counteract hand tremors when taking photos. A special button on the side launches the camera and takes photos -- rather than having to go into the phone to open the camera feature.

The Fire Phone also includes unlimited photo storage on Amazon's Cloud Drive. Apple and Google offer similar services, but they both charge storage fees.

Amazon's "Firefly" feature uses the camera to recognize physical objects -- books, video games, food, household products and other items -- and gives you the option to buy all that stuff instantly on Amazon. Bezos demonstrated with a collection of objects on a table.

Firefly can also listen to songs a la Shazam.

Like with the camera, there's also a dedicated Firefly button on the side of the Fire Phone.

"Firefly recognizes over 100 million different items, and it does so under real world circumstances," Bezos said. "Firefly is so easy to access, customers are going to love this."

Media: Media consumption, unsurprisingly for an Amazon devce, is the Fire Phone's focal point.

"We have made video awesome on this phone," Bezos said.

The Fire Phone's second screen feature can fling videos to Amazon's Fire TV or any Mirrorcast-enabled device. An "X-ray" feature provides details about what you're watching, and Amazon's "ASAP" tool uses predictive software to caching videos it thinks you will watch -- and make them immediately available for streaming.

Amazon said competitors will be included in those tools as well, including Netflix, HBOGo and ESPN.

Reading is also a highlight on the phone, Bezos said. An "Immersion Reading" feature lets users read and listen to a text simultaneously.

"We lavished attention on this phone for reading," he noted.

The Fire Phone also recognizes TV shows -- demonstrated with a short clip of Game of Thrones -- and gives you the precise moment in the episode and IMDB info..

It also recognizes works of art, giving you Wikipedia information.

Other stuff: Amazon's Mayday customer service feature, already in use on tablets, will also be available on the Fire Phone. It includes 24/7 access to tech support in 15 seconds or less.

Amazon's smartphone also features dual stereo speakers, with premium earbuds included. It includes aluminum buttons and steel connectors.

The smartphone will be released initially with AT&T as the exclusive service carrier, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Amazon on Monday proclaimed that its app store has tripled in size over the past year, now boasting over 240,000 apps and games. But that still places it well behind Apple and Google which each boast more than a million mobile apps for their platforms.

Amazon is looking to the smartphone in part as a means to drive additional subscriptions to its Amazon Prime specialty service, users of which spend far more money on the site than non-Prime users.

Amazon Prime users already get access to a streaming video service that competes with Netflix. Amazon made the service even more attractive to mobile device users last week, launching a Spotify-like streaming music service for Prime customers.

Beyond media consumption, the phone will give Amazon additional customer data with which to make targeted product recommendations and offer personalized deals.

A smartphone, Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey said earlier this month, offers the company "a way to make sure customers think of Amazon not just a few times a month, or even a few times a week, but dozens of times a day, creating the opportunity for Amazon to convert as many of those interactions into purchases as possible."

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