WSJ: Amazon Working on a 3D Phone

WSJ:

Amazon.com Inc. is expanding beyond its range of Kindle devices as it aims to compete more directly with Google Inc. and Apple Inc.

One of the devices is a high-end smartphone featuring a screen that allows for three-dimensional images without glasses, these people said. Using retina-tracking technology, images on the smartphone would seem to float above the screen like a hologram and appear three-dimensional at all angles, they said. Users may be able to navigate through content using just their eyes, two of the people said.

Do people really want a 3D phone? 3D functionality comes on most TVs as standard nowadays. Despite being technologically capable and having a reasonable amount of 3D content through my satellite TV provider available to me, I very rarely find myself watching things in 3D. It has always seemed a bit of a novelty feature to me.

In the gaming world (which I’m admittedly no expert on) the Nintendo 3DS seems to be doing well, but that’s not likely to be due to the 3D nature of the screen. As Avery Penn of gaming website Blue Sun told me, "it’s always games that sell systems".

With regards to the phone, I just wonder if making the screen of a small device (such as a phone) 3D is actually innovation, or a matter of trying to boost sales through novelty features.

We’ll see if this report is correct. If it is, it’ll be interesting to see how a 3D phone is received.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Invests in Business Insider

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Invests in Blodget’s Business Insider – Bloomberg:

Business Insider Inc., the news site co-founded by former Internet analyst Henry Blodget, raised $5 million in venture capital from investors led by Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos.

[…]

“Jeff’s leadership, vision and philosophy at Amazon have been an inspiration to a whole generation of startups and entrepreneurs, including me,” Blodget said in an interview. “It is a privilege and pleasure to have him invest in the company.” The New York-based company had about $10 million in sales last year and a net loss of $3 million, according to a person with direct knowledge of its finances. Business Insider has about 100 employees and is expected to bring in more than $15 million in revenue this year, though it may not reach profitability, said the person, who asked not to be named because the information is confidential.

It’s bizarre to read about your (future, I start Memorial Day week) employer raising millions of dollars in venture capital. I’m very excited to see the changes that will be happening at Business Insider while I’m there this summer.

Why Amazon bought Goodreads

The deal Goodreads should’ve struck (hint: it wasn’t with Amazon) — paidContent:

It’s a certainty that Amazon, too, saw this. Which is why the sale this week comes as little surprise. I’ve always imagined that secretly, deep down in the murky stacks of Amazon headquarters, they had a crackerjack team making kindle.amazon.com the best social reading network in the world. Maybe they did. Or maybe they just realized it would be easier to buy the one that already existed.

In a few months, I’ll be able to read Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind’s Eye on my Kindle and be able to talk about it with more than that one nerdy friend I have on Facebook. I’m not sure I’ll take advantage of the coming social features, and I agree with Craig Mod –  it would have been interesting to see Goodreads and Readmill join forces to make an interesting alternative to Amazon.