Amazon’s next launch event: June 18 (you can request an invite)
“What the what?” (as Liz Lemon might say).
Amazon has just announced (on its homepage) their “…next device unveiling.”
They’ve even done a teaser video, which you can see here:
What is it?
Well, it doesn’t look like a phone…or a reading device.
Clearly, based on the video, it is watching people and translating what they are doing into…something.
It appears to be about the size of a tablet, but that’s a bit hard to tell.
Could it be a tablet?
Maybe…one with some weird gestural tracking thing.
My intuition watching the video is that it is doing some kind of avatar or augmented reality featuring you. It’s (and this is pure speculation) representing the user on the screen.
It could even be doing it in glasses-free 3D.
The way people are interacting with it in the video (which could just be a very small part of its capabilities) is like…if you went to a science museum, and they had something that showed you a heat map of your body (I’ve done exactly that). People slowly move body parts around, to see how it looks on the screen…it looks like that. 🙂
You can request an invitation (you won’t necessarily get one) at the above link.
I can’t go (it’s in Seattle, by the way)…I have a somewhat open-ended commitment going on right now, that could go that long.
Could they introduce more than just this gizmo?
It’s possible…even though they only say “device” (singular) unveiling.
There are three basic possibilities at these Amazon events:
- They introduce new hardware (that’s clearly happening)…either a completely new line (this could be a gaming device, for example…although the Fire TV does that, too) or updates to an existing line
- They reconfigure the existing line-up…discontinuing and lowering prices. If this impacts the Kindle non-Fire line, I could see the Mindle going away, for example
- They introduce new services: that could happen here, including introducing a Prime music streaming service, or a subser (subscription service) for books
Again, purely intuition at this point, but I suspect they are just introducing one thing…and that it is a new direction.
They could also do this big event, and do something separate (even a press release) to announce other changes.
Update: I’ve watched the video a few times, and put it on full screen and frozen it. It certainly seems to me that they are looking at something with apparent depth…a 3-D image. People seem to be trying to look under it, but needing to be at perhaps a certain (fairly broad) angle for it to work.
The most interesting one to me is at about 14 seconds, where you can see the participant in the red plaid shirt for the first time. What makes it different? You see the tester’s right hand, with a finger (the “pinky”, I’d say) crooked. I had originally thought it was too big to be a phone, but this does appear to me that the person is holding in the left hand, and “touching” something with the right. The way it is done, I wouldn’t describe it as typing. If there is a 3D image, it might be “touching” it.
I’m now leaning towards this being Amazon’s rumored phone with 3D imaging.
That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t get other announcements along with that, of course. For example, they could talk about its mirroring capability with the Fire TV (if it has that…which I would guess it would).
Update: this photo reportedly pauses part of the video, and reveals something that has the right form factor to be a phone:
However, I just ran the video several times looking carefully, and could not see that frame. It could just be too fast for me…or it’s possible the photo has been altered.
Two of my readers, jjhitt and Mich Napier (thanks, readers!), commented on a reflection of the device in one tester’s glasses at about 41 seconds. That one I can see…I don’t know that I would have the right to show you a screengrab of that, but you can see it yourself. Outside of it looking like a light-colored rectangle, I can’t tell much from that.
Well, what do you think? What is that thing? What does it do? If you do get an invitation, let me know…maybe we can work out some sort of field reporting from you to my readers.
Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.
Thanks to regular reader and commenter Harold Delk for giving me a heads-up comment on this.
* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.