Report: Amazon’s smartphone will have a tilt-based gesture interface

Amazon’s(S amzn) unannounced handset will employ a 3D interface that “dramatically changes the way users interact with a smartphone,” according to a report published on BGR on Tuesday. Although Amazon’s smartphone has yet to be officially confirmed, last week BGR published what looked like images and specs of the long-rumored handset.
Previous reports noted four low-power head-tracking cameras would be included on the front of the handset. Those cameras are supposedly the primary interface for the device, using a variety of unique gesture controls built into Amazon’s heavily skinned Android software.
According to BGR’s Zach Epstein, tilting the handset in different directions while in use will bring up menus and options. For instance, a user could scroll through a book in the Kindle app by tilting the phone up or down. Or a tilt could reveal labels under small icons in the calendar or email apps. BGR said that they have been told that “Amazon’s smartphone apps don’t even have traditional menu buttons.”
While Apple’s iOS 7 introduced parallax effects on a mobile operating system, Amazon’s reported heavy use of 3D is something new. A wild new interface could be an important point of differentiation, or it could be a thoroughly frustrating user experience. We’ll have to wait: the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that the phone will be announced in June with an expected third quarter release.