Report: Amazon's Lab126 working on secret 3D smartphone
The high-end smartphone has a screen that enables users to see 3D images without special glasses, people familiar with the company's plans told the newspaper. The smartphone would use retina-tracking to project images that float above the screen and appear in 3D from all angles, according to the sources.
Amazon is also developing another smartphone, presumably a lower-priced one for the mass market, as well as an audio-only streaming device.
These efforts are part of a broader strategy by Amazon to break out of its Kindle tablet confines and compete with the likes of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and others that offer both smartphones and tablets, the newspaper reported.
But not everyone is convinced that a 3D smartphone is a good idea. Roberto Baldwin, with Wired, called the 3D smartphone a "very dumb idea. The last place you want images floating in space is our smartphone."
"It sounds great on paper, but in reality, it'll be an eye-straining, privacy-losing train wreck that will have you tilting your phone this way and that trying to make those images look just right," added Baldwin.
Jay Yarrow with Business Insider agrees. "You never want to pre-judge a product that doesn't exist, but this sounds really bad. It sounds like a mess of horrendous gimmicks," he wrote.
Not surprisingly, Amazon is not commenting on the reports. Wall Street doesn't seem too sure what to make of the 3D smartphone idea. Amazon's stock price jumped from $258.80 to $263.50 before settling back to $260 in Thursday trading.