Opinion: Amazon’s 3-D smartphone: Who’s the old fat guy on the phone?

You have a smartphone; of course you do. But do you have a 3-D smartphone? Of course not. But if the rumors are true, Amazon is about to change that.

The question is, is that a good thing?

This week, Amazon posted a video on its official YouTube channel showing real folks staring at an unseen something, and oohing and aahing and saying how cool it was. From the way they were tilting their heads, you got the idea they were looking at a 3-D display of some sort. (And just what was life like before YouTube? I don’t remember.)

Now, it’s not news that Amazon is getting into the smartphone business. It’s not even really news that the new phone will have the ability to display in 3-D.


Still, in our tech-addled society, and given the clout of Amazon, each little tidbit that dribbles out about such a device is trumpeted (sort of like the endless leaks about each Apple iPhone iteration). Forgetting, of course, that these things are — you know — smartphones. It might have 3-D, but it’s not gonna cure cancer.

Beyond that, though, my real concern is with this whole 3-D display technology.

You see, I for one already cringe when I see myself on a webcam: Who is the old guy in the picture? And now folks are gonna see me in 3-D? Make that: Who is the old and fat guy in the picture?

And it’s bad enough that I have to listen to other people’s cellphone conversations. Now I’m going to have to endure 3-D pictures of Aunt Martha and her cute dog and her new haircut and Uncle Clem’s bad bunions?


Please, Amazon, no. Aren’t cheap books and the like enough for you?

One article I saw was cleverly headlined: “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi! 3D HOLOGRAPHIC PHONE hinted in Amazon vid.”

But “Star Wars” was in a galaxy far, far away. These phones are going to be in the restaurant booth next to me. My kingdom for a blaster! Or a light saber!

Folks, hear me out: Maybe, just maybe, we’re too connected already. We’re buried in our phones, our emails, our texts, or streaming videos. Our bosses can find us at any hour (as can our friends and families).

But the dim glow of our screens is not the light to freedom; it’s the light of an oncoming train, a train that will crush us under its 24/7 demands.

I fear that the 3-D phone, like the Sirens that tempted Ulysses, is just another gimmick (see Google Glass) to lure us onto the rocks. But this time, there’s no one to put wax in our ears, no one to lash us to the mast. (Go ahead, kids, Google it, it’s a fun story.)

So, get ready: Amazon 3-D is coming.

But I hope it’s not my next birthday present: I just don’t wanna be the old fat guy sprouting from the phone.


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