June 18, 2014 3:15 pm
Updated: June 18, 2014 3:17 pm

Amazon expected to unveil 3D smartphone

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TORONTO – Amazon is expected to throw its hat into the smartphone race Wednesday with a flashy glasses-free 3D display capable of capturing 3D images.

The e-commerce giant will likely unveil the long-rumoured smartphone during a secretive event Wednesday afternoon in Seattle.

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The smartphone is rumoured to include six cameras – four of which are expected to be front-facing cameras that will help with the phone’s 3D effects. According to a report by Mashable, the cameras will be used to track the position of the user’s face and eyes in order to alter the perspective of the screen.

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Amazon has not given many clues as to what will be announced at Wednesday’s event – however, a teaser video for the event released earlier this month fueled rumours of the 3D display.

“It’s very real life and incomparable to anything I’ve seen,” said one user in the video, who appears to be reacting to an unseen device.

Analysts assume Amazon’s goal in releasing a mobile device is to get customers to buy more things from Amazon. Some have suggested the phone may come pre-loaded with an Amazon shopping app or other features tied in tightly to the products the company sells.

“It’s Amazon. That says to me the core value proposition is going to be about shopping,” said Ramon Llamas of the research firm International Data Corp.

Analysts also said the move into smartphones is a bit of a head-scratcher, since the company is a late entrant into the highly competitive market.

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Despite the uniqueness of a 3D phone, Amazon will be facing fierce competition from Samsung and Apple, the No. 1 and 2 mobile phone companies in the world.

Phones with 3D functionality have been introduced to the market before – such as the HTC Evo 3D – but failed to gain much traction with consumers.

The Amazon event will kick off at 1:30 p.m. ET, but the company will not be live streaming the event.

- With files from The Associated Press

© Shaw media, 2014

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