Background on Amazon phone’s rumored glasses-free technology

Boy Genius Report (BGR) just broke the first concrete news of Amazon’s rumored phone (including photos). One of the most compelling features is a glasses-free 3d display. The approach relies on eye-tracking (via a series of infrared cameras) for perspective shifting the display:

The device’s extra cameras are used to track the position of the user’s face and eyes in relation to the phone’s display. This allows Amazon’s software to make constant adjustments to the positioning of on-screen elements, altering the perspective of visuals on the screen.

The result is a 3D experience without the need for 3D glasses or a parallax barrier in front the LCD panel like the solutions used by the Nintendo 3DS portable video game console and HTC’s EVO 3D smartphone from 2011.

While this may sound sci-fi, Wiimote hacking hero (turned microsoft employee) Johnny Chung Lee first demonstrated a similar capability in a 2007 blog post and video:

From the blog post:

Using the infrared camera in the Wii remote and a head mounted sensor bar (two IR LEDs), you can accurately track the location of your head and render view dependent images on the screen. This effectively transforms your display into a portal to a virtual environment. The display properly reacts to head and body movement as if it were a real window creating a realistic illusion of depth and space.

With advances in miniaturization, and the use of on-board IR LEDs to illuminate irises, Amazon’s implementation appears to be a pretty straightforward use of technology demonstrated more than half a decade ago.

One thought on “Background on Amazon phone’s rumored glasses-free technology

Leave a Reply