This Video Was The Inspiration For Amazon’s Smartphone

Bgr amazon smartphone kindle fire phone
A rendering of what Amazon’s phone might look like BGR

Amazon is expected to release its long-rumoured smartphone tomorrow at an event in Seattle, but the inspiration for the phone’s key feature is said to have dated back to this video from 2007.

For months, rumours have suggested that Amazon’s smartphone will be able to track its user’s head movements by using multiple cameras located around the phone’s display. The idea would be to optimise content for multiple viewing angles.

Amazon came up with the idea after viewing this video made by famous hacker Johnny Chung Lee, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Chung Lee, who now works at Google, reversed the position of the sensors on Nintendo’s Wii gaming console to create a display that could track its user’s head.

Chung Lee explained how the technology works by drawing comparisons to a standard picture frame. Most computer screens show images in two dimensions, just like a photo in a frame.

Virtual reality, however, is a bit like taking a photo out of the frame. The frame is still there, but what you see through the frame changes depending on which angle you’re viewing it from.

To enable head tracking, Chung Lee swapped out the Wii Remote for the sensor bar.

In other words, the Wii Remote remained stationary in front of the television while he moved the sensor bar in his hand. After mounting the sensor bar on his head, the effect looked something like this:


Check out the video from Chung Lee below to learn more.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.