20th June 2014 by Yolanda Day
Amazon has just released its first handset; the Fire Phone. Unique to the phone is its 3D perspective created by four face-tracking cameras on the front of the device which use Omron’s face sensing technology, in addition to four infrared LEDs which enable the device to continue to track movements of the face in low light conditions.
Jeff Bezos, Chief Executive, describes how the dynamic perspective allows users to view dresses from various angles, allowing prospective customers to familiarise themselves with products in a way that has never been adopted before, potentially leading to increased sales. The user experience when shopping is also enhanced as a result of gesture controls which enable the swift browsing of products, accessing of menus and switching of web pages through tilting the phone, benefiting E-commerce sites further.
Amazon’s app store has tripled in size over the year from which app developers and users can also revel in the dynamic effects that transform the app experience whether it be a gaming, practical or social one. Gamers can also appreciate the ability to view their realm through the visual perspective of a character.
The Fire Phone also comprises the Firefly app, which is activated by a side-button. This app gives the phone the capability to identify surrounding stimuli including sounds, images and text. Information describing the song played or book cover identified is then presented to the user, allowing the user to purchase the item on Amazon instantly if stocked, provided the phone is online.
Amazon is able to glean more about consumers to tailor the shopping experience to individuals when they access the Amazon store, from using Firefly. This ability benefits any retailers that sell via Amazon as an ECommerce channel; making their products discoverable to shoppers in new ways.
The fire phone also offers the online service Mayday which enables users to contact Amazon advisors who can offer relevant information 24-7 within 15 seconds.
The basic version of the handset comprises 32 GB at $199 (£117). All of the functions remain available to users who buy Amazon Prime Membership at $99 (£58) after a year; however the first 12 months are free.
The Fire Phone could set the market alight, and is likely to become a favourite amongst music lovers as a result of the Prime Music function which allows users to download or stream millions of songs. There is also the option to sing to your favourite tracks, with lyrics loading for popular songs at a tilt of the phone.