Amazon readying smartphone with 3D DISPLAY – report

Futuristic mobe part of broader push into consumer tech

Hologram communication - Star Wars

If Amazon does release its own smartphone, it won't be just another me-too number, according to a new report that says the online retailer is working on a handset with a 3D holographic display.

Citing anonymous sources, The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon's device will use "retina-tracking technology" to make images appear to be hovering above the surface of the screen from all angles, without requiring special glasses.

Two of those same tattle-tales said the Amazon phone will also allow users to navigate content using only their eyes, something LG and Samsung haven't quite managed with their recent, eyeball-tracking mobes.

Not much else concrete has been revealed about the Amazonian handsets, other than that they will support 4G LTE connectivity and will be powered by chips from Qualcomm – meaning that, to our ears at least, these latest rumors sound about as vaporous as all of the other Android-phone murmurs we've been hearing for years.

Yet the WSJ's sources insist that not only is Amazon's futuristic phone real, but it's only the beginning of the e-tailer's big push into consumer electronics, which will soon see it offer a variety of devices aimed at delivering streaming media and other content.

According to the report, Amazon is developing at least four devices at a skunkworks facility in Cupertino, California, dubbed "Lab 126". The projects are so secretive that they're known internally only as the Alphabet Projects: Project A, B, C, and D.

Past leaks may have already given an inkling of what these projects might be, however. A more typical smartphone without the 3D display and eye-tracking tech might be one – some reports have suggested that Amazon plans to release such a device in the second quarter of 2013. A TV set-top box that can stream Amazon Prime Instant Video content is another likely candidate.

As for the third device, the WSJ suggests it may be some kind of audio-only streaming media device, which will be accompanied by a new Amazon music-streaming service to compete with the likes of Pandora and Spotify.

There was no word on whether Amazon plans to use its Kindle brand for these devices, nor when they will be ready to market, except to say that Amazon may release some of them "in the coming months."

In fact, the WSJ's sources observed that the Alphabet Projects might not even surface at all. Any or all of them could be shelved, the report not-very-helpfully states, "because of performance, financial, or other concerns."

Amazon did not immediately respond to The Register's request for comment. ®

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