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3D Phones – Gaming, Shopping and more!

We are becoming more and more reliant on our smart phones and devices (along with their apps).  They have replaced our cameras, landlines, diaries, maps, information sources, snail mail, rewards cards, gaming, betting, shopping, fitness monitors, travel planning and so much more.  So do we need a 3D smart phone?


Amazon introduced its new Fire Phone late last week which is its long-awaited smart device capable of displaying a 3D-like image. Alongside the Fire Phone, Amazon chief executive officer Jeff Bezos also showed off a mobile game called To-Fu Fury that developer HotGen reworked for the new handset. This game has players guiding a piece of mashed soybeans around levels to collect items and rescue a character called Fortune Kitty. The game debuted previously on iOS as To-Fu: The Trials of Chi, but it’s a bit different on the Fire.

Consumers might use the phone to take a 3-D picture of a product in a store, then search for it on Amazon and make a purchase. The phone is expected to come with sensors that track the movement of your head, letting you open menus just by tilting the device.  “Anything that generates more repeat orders and more frequent purchases is probably part of what they intend to do with this,” said R.W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian.

The new phone’s sexiest feature is Firefly. At a push of a button on the side of the phone, the back camera recognizes products in the real world, with bar codes and other product information, then displays ways to buy the product on Amazon. Firefly also can listen to a song and recognize it and then show you how to buy it on Amazon. It can watch a scene from a TV program and tell you how to buy the same episode on Amazon. It also recognizes works of art, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos points out.

Another nice feature is semantic boosting. Your Fire can look at a phone number, on a sign or written on a piece of paper, and then recognize and store it. You can also point  your phone at a posted sign, and Firefly will pick out just the important info and images and then store them.

Amazon is releasing an SDK so that third-party developers can develop apps using the Firefly audio, video, and product recognizers. MyFitnessPal has already developed an app that recognises food using Firefly, for example.

This product is too Amazon centric and is not available to Australians, but will Apple, Samsung, Nokia or any other manufacturers/service providers take up the challenge or stand by and watch?  I know we will be watching this space.  What will be the ramifications for marketers and 3D mobile app development be?  Imagine 3D social media, and the opportunities for really ‘smart’ and’ creative’ marketing? 

I believe that in order for a 3D phone to be accepted, it will need to do everything our smart phones do now, with added value and features that the customers want.  With technology changing so quickly, consumers and marketers don’t know what they want, and can’t even imagine what opportunities there will be in even 12 months time.


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