Zach Epstein with more on Amazon’s forthcoming smartphone and its “3D” technology:
Amazon’s motion sensing and head tracking technology also changes the way users access menus and other features in apps. In fact, we’re told that Amazon’s smartphone apps don’t even have traditional menu buttons. Instead, menus and other functions are accessed by tilting the phone to the right or left. These tilts cause new panels to slide in over the current screen.
So for example, if the user tilts the phone to one side while reading a book in the Kindle app, the phone will open the X-Ray menu, which is a reference tool that provides contextual information relevant to whatever the user might be reading at the time.
A tilt in the messaging app while composing a new message will open up a panel with the phone’s camera roll, allowing users to quickly and easily insert a photo. Tilting the phone to one side while using the weather app reveals the extended forecast.
Again, this reeks of functionality that stems from novelty and differentiation rather than usefulness. But we’ll see. If they can nail this, maybe it will be a new interaction paradigm. My guess is that it will be nearly impossible to nail such interactions, though.