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Amazon Has Been Working On Its Phone Since 2009

Jun 17 2014, 10:52pm CDT | by , in News | Technology News

Amazon Has Been Working On Its Phone Since 2009
Joe Klamar/ Getty Images

Amazon is finally ready to reveal its masterpiece. But the journey has been long and hard.

Amazon has long been rumored to be working on a phone. But as the years passed, no phone was announced. Now a new report from Bloomberg Businessweek explains why it took so long for Amazon to make a phone.

According to Brad Stone, senior writer at Bloomberg Businessweek, Amazon has been working on a phone since 2009.

Stone says that the Amazon smartphone is the longest project in development at Lab126, the company's secret research and development facility. Established in 2004, Lab126 is the birthplace of Amazon's popular Kindle devices.

2014 is perhaps the most productive year for Lab126. Earlier this year, Amazon announced the Fire TV set-top box and the Amazon Dash shopping gadget - both of which were made at Lab126. But these are little when compared to what Amazon is planning to announce today.

Earlier this month, Amazon broke the news that it will reveal a new device on June 18. It even posted a teaser on YouTube, showing a bunch of happy people adoring an unseen device.

Stone adds that Amazon got its inspiration from Johnny Chung Lee, who created a head tracker using Nintendo's Wii remote. Lee's prototype tracked people's heads and allowed the user to view objects in 3D.

Amazon's phone will also feature a similar technology, he said.

Codenamed "Duke," the phone will have four infrared cameras that can track the eyes of the user, allowing images to move along with the user, hence creating a 3D effect.

The journey was not a walk in the park for Amazon. Engineers also had to overcome technical challenges. For example, they needed to get cameras that can capture stable 3D effects.

Hardware cost was also a problem, and apart from pushing the team, Jeff Bezos also needed to understand the practicality of the device. Will consumers find the 3D feature useful? Sure it's cool, but is it worth the money?

Jeff Bezos may have finally figured it out. 

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