CXO

Amazon to develop 3D smartphones. Why?

Amazon has plans to develop 3D smartphones. Somebody please give me a reason why this is a good idea.

There was a time when company executives were suspicious of IT's proposals because they felt like IT wanted new tech just for the sake of having new tech. In other words, there wasn't a clear line from proposed tech purchases to business benefit.

Then came smartphones and tablets, and the executives got "the bug." Of course, that tech was also useful-execs could check email from the airport or while standing in line at the grocery, download documents, etc. It had a definite business benefit.

Every now and then I get a press release about a new tech product that convinces me that there are people out there who still don't get the business value thing. That was the case yesterday when I got an email announcing Amazon is said to be developing a new line of gadgets, including what could be revolutionary in the cell phone industry: a 3D phone.

Let me say upfront that I love Amazon. In my book, there is no other company out there that uses Big Data better. When I log in to browse some books, there's always a list of books Amazon recommends for me based on my previous reading. And you know what? They're always on the money. For a lazy person like me, who may not feel like browsing around looking at what's out there to read, this is a time-saver and a great service.

Now let's talk about 3D phones. Or let's not. Because there is absolutely no need that I can see for one of those. This, to me, is a prime example of tech for tech's sake. I don't even think 3D adds much to a movie, much less anything I'm going to be looking at on a smartphone.

The press release quoted a tech expert as saying, "It makes sense for Amazon to venture into the smartphone arena, particularly with a groundbreaking feature like 3D viewing. If Amazon's 3D phone is what we think it is, it will be another example of utilizing sensory technology to make devices more useful, not to mention it will be a starting point for more developed 3D software in the future."

My take is that, no, it makes no sense at all for Amazon to venture into the smartphone area. I don't see how it's even tangentially related to their business model and to what makes me like them so much. He claims that the technology they'll be using—retina-tracking software-will makes devices more useful. (He says this technology won't require the "goofy looking glasses" you have to wear at 3D movies. An ironic statement, considering Google's recent entry in the tech field.)

And last, is this really a starting point for "more developed 3D software in the future?" No. That ship has kind of launched already, right? This, in my opinion, is just a weird side trip.

But I could be wrong. Use the discussion on this blog to set me straight if you see a good use for 3D smartphones.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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