back to article Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi! 3D HOLO-PHONE hinted in Amazon vid

Amazon plans to unveil a new device later this month, according to a video posted to the e-tailer's official YouTube channel. The cryptic clip features a series of people waggling their heads at an unknown product and saying things like, "that is really cool," "that's super awesome," and "oh, woo." "It's very real-life," says …


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  1. Matt_payne666

    3d phone? Pah, I'd be a lot more interested in a 2d phone....

    1. P. Lee

      re: 3d phone? Pah, I'd be a lot more interested in a 2d phone....

      I wouldn't. It would be really difficult to pick up.

  2. Steven Raith

    That's the sort of reaction...

    ....that my device gets.

    Although admittedly, it's more often derisory laughter.

    Steven R

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amazon has alot of 3d content?

    They have set up several scanning locations eg NYC

  4. cordwainer 1

    Another mysterious nameless "It"...

    So...Virtual Segway?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Another mysterious nameless "It"...

      ...IN SPAAACE!

    2. xperroni
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Another mysterious nameless "It"...

      So...Virtual Segway?

      Whatever it is, I predict similar levels of disappointment.

  5. frank ly

    A possibility:

    "... tracking the position of each of the user's eyes and projecting the appropriate image into each."

    Is it a phone with frickin lasers?

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      Re: A possibility:

      could be, but where are they hiding the shark?

  6. Dr Patrick J R Harkin


    "It's cool"

    "It moves with me"

    "It's neat"

    It's a portable icebox full of beer.

    [Cue "My Google Glass is half-empty joke"]

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Oh, I hope this is true

    If for no other reason than to enjoy the contortions of a certain other Cupertino-based company and its unpaid trolls trying to explain either why 3D is bad for the user experience, or alternatively that they really did it first 2 years afterwards.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3D Holographic display? Pshaw! I won't consider a 3D display to be holographic unless it's a display actual holograms like we've been taught by science fiction: actual volumetric figures projected out into open space. Since our brightest minds have yet to figure out how to make an arbitrary part of open space look solid, I call bollocks on the claim.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Yeah, like "Help me, Obi Wan Kanobi, you're my only hope!"

      1. hplasm

        That's exactly what I was hoping to see.

        Instead the ad was full of dopey looking people doing 'that' ad-amazed annoying gawp.

        Second worst advert since the Surface ads...

    2. OrsonX

      possible (ish) now

      Same article was on engadget yesterday, from the comments there was a link to a YouTube vid where a Japanese company had used a laser to ionise points in the air, producing blue flashes, which formed moving images in the air.... well worth finding, very impressive, and possibly as close to "Help me OB1" as we are going to get.

      Sorry no link, too tired.


      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: possible (ish) now

        Hold on! How do "ionize points in the air" using lasers?

        And will the resulting X-ray and ozone emission not lead to MAJOR CALIFORNIAN WARNINGS anyway?

      2. Tony Paulazzo

        Re: possible (ish) now

        Someone shoot the cameraman, but otherwise - Wow!

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      re: 3D Holographic display

      >Since our brightest minds have yet to figure out how to make an arbitrary part of open space look solid

      You can make a real holographic display with programmable diffraction gratings.

      At the moment it can only do small volumes and it takes all day to calculate the rendering of a frame.

      1. Charles 9

        Re: re: 3D Holographic display

        Last I checked, those holograms can't be done in arbitrary colors due to the nature of the diffraction gratings. That's why reflection holograms (which also rely on diffraction) show up as a rainbow of colors rather than in a fixed presentation.

        @OrsonX; Pretty cute, actually. Though as someone else noted, that may not sound too safe. Plus there's the matter of atmospheric disturbances and so on. If someone can pull off this kind of trick in a vacuum (IOW, an approach that doesn't cook matter in so doing), then we might see better progress.

  9. SMabille

    Apple lost it?

    With no hardware announcement at WWDC, which is a clear indication that the iPhone 6 is not ready, this could be the first time that Apple will be relegated out of the innovator board by a major player (even if it has been ages since they really introduced anything new and "revolutionary")

    Amazon is treating its employees probably even worst than Apple and its fiscal optimisation policy doesn't have much to learn from Braeburn Capital (Apple off shore money management arm) but still would be happy to see Tim Cook's company arrogance getting a good kick in the balls.

    1. D@v3

      Re: Apple lost it?

      they very rarely announce hardware at the Developers Conference. the WWDC is about software, the hardware it runs on comes later.

    2. Sampler

      Re: Apple lost it?

      When was the last time Apple released anything "innovative" - they never release anything truly new, they just take something someone's already making a hash of and make it somewhat idiot proof way with lots of advertising to tell us it's new and shiny...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kindle Fire redux?

    Remember all the rumors about how amazing Amazon's tablet was going to be, and it turned out it was just another me-too Android tablet with the Googly bits removed?

    The shills are out in full force since AMZN has dropped by nearly 30% so far this year, so they're hoping to find fresh suckers to buy the stock that is still massively overvalued, considering Amazon's utter inability to turn a profit despite ever increasing revenue.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kindle Fire redux?

      "Although Amazon reported revenue of nearly $20 billion, it said its operating income fell 19 percent, to $146 million. Net income was a modest $108 million." NYT - APRIL 25, 2014

      See, they are turning a profit despite your misleading claim of the contrary, dunno about your "shills" but I see a libelous and partisan ranter, irrelevantly whining about Amazon's stock and business model over an unrelated article about an upcoming device...

  11. RobTaylor

    I think it's a lenticular display

    As started with the autosterioscopic displays at Cambridge computer lab (file:///home/robtaylor/Downloads/SPIE02.pdf)

    A few companies started applything this to LCD displays over 5 years ago, for example Seiko Epsom:

    Presumably this is a productisation of one of these R&D projects.


    1. Jim84

      Re: I think it's a lenticular display

      Yes I think it is a lenticular display too. Unless amazon have figured out some way to steer beams of light emanating from each pixel a lenticular display is the only way to prevent the image intended for the left eye from reaching the right eye.

      Seereal technologies proposed putting cells filled half with oil and half with water in front of LCD pixels and moving the oil about using magnetism in the sides of the cells to control the light direction. But never developed a practical demo.

      The problem with lenticular displays is that there are only so many viewing angles.

    2. andreas koch

      @ Rob Taylor - Re: I think it's a lenticular display

      Dat link . . .

    3. Horridbloke

      Re: I think it's a lenticular display

      There were a number of android slabs boasting lenticular displays for sale at Bangkok's Pantip Plaza when I visited a couple of years ago. Those displays weren't great, but there's been time to improve that part of the equation and I can see Amazon using that with online 3d film or game delivery to draw more people into their ecosystem.

    4. RAMChYLD

      Re: I think it's a lenticular display

      Take a garner at this:

      Phones with autostereoscopic displays has been around since 2002. So nothing new then.

  12. tentimes

    Wonkey eye - will I still see 3D?

    I have fumed silently for years every time I hear 3D mentioned, steaming in anger because people like me with a wonkey eye (lazy eye) can't see in 3D - we just get a mess that leads us to regurgitate our cornflakes.

    But in this case I am wondering, if it tracks my other eye (with a slight squint) will it maybe work this time? Or am I looking at another clean up and £100 down the shitter?

  13. Ulaavi

    Will it be called ...

    ... Ember? following the burning theme?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. kafantaris2

    A disruptive force to our complacency.

    “A 3-D screen will allow you to basically have multiple virtual panels you can see into the device. You could get a ton more space to put stuff on, and then rotate the box to sharpen the focus on the one item you want.” -- Rob Enderle

    Yet Apple and Samsung had us convinced there wasn’t much room for improvement on the smart phone screen.

    Go get ‘em boys.

  15. AndreRichards

    What's the problem exactly?

    The key to predicting whether or not a given technology or product will catch on is to ask what real-world problem it solves. I'm at a loss to figure out what problem a 3D phone screen solves, other than adding one more unnecessary novelty feature to kill your battery life.

  16. Jonas Steinberg

    It is not holographically engineered.

    Neither MIT, Cambridge, nor any proprietary lab researching optics has this technology, because the beams of light have to be contained in some way, otherwise they dissipate immediately. This has always been the major block in holographic research. If they made the phone the size of a microwave, then you'd be case you're interested, here is a link to the current state of the research:

  17. MondoMan
    Black Helicopters

    Hints from Amazon's website

    There's a link to request a pass for the launch event on June 18th. If you're a developer (as opposed to just an Amazon customer or a media flack), among the questions are:

    Describe an innovative way in which you have used gyroscopes, accelerometers, or other device sensors in your app development.

    Are you interested in developing apps utilizing a new type of sensor?

    Do you have machine learning experience? Please describe.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cisco will be really cheesed - they've been working on a similar project since 2009.

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