Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Using Dynamic Perspective and gesture controls, part of Amazon Fire Phone First Look.
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In this movie I want to talk about two of the biggest features of the Fire Phone. Dynamic perspective and gesture controls. These are two features that work together to give the Fire Phone its signature look and feel. The first time you'll notice dynamic perspective is on the lock screen. You'll see a little animation on the lock screen and as I move my head around or move the phone around, you'll see the perspective on the screen changes. This gives you the effect of looking through a window onto a three-dimensional scene. You can get an idea of how it works as you watch me do it, but you really can't fully appreciate the effect without holding the phone in your own hand.
I'm going to go ahead and unlock the phone by swiping up, and you'll see that I still have dynamic perspective even on the home menu. Dynamic perspective works because there are four cameras on the front of the device tracking my face at all times. It knows where I'm looking and it knows the angle of my view. So it can shift the image on the screen as my face moves around. In a way it's sort of like virtual reality in the way that the displayed image changes based on where you're looking, but it's still a very different experience.
A lot of people are curious about how to set up and configure dynamic perspective. The good news is that there is no set up or configuration required for the face tracking technology and it has worked very reliably for me. I've tried it with and without sunglasses, and it works for every other person I've handed the phone to. It doesn't need to be reconfigured. It automatically recognizes and instantly starts tracking the face of any person holding the phone. And from there the dynamic perspective features just work.
So let's keep playing with dynamic perspective. As we go through these features, we're going to see some different more dynamic ways of activating the interface features that we saw in the previous movie. These features can give you a more interactive and immersive interface experience. For example, here on the home screen, as I move my head around or tilt the phone, all of the icons shift, giving a three-dimensional look and feel. If I go to the home grid, all of the apps shift in three-dimensional space here as well.
Another part of dynamic perspective is a feature called peeking. Peeking is a way that the designers can keep the interface very clean an unclutered by hiding certain information. You can reveal that hidden information by peeking. To do that, you shift your head or tilt the phone left or right, until hidden information appears. Here on the home grid, I can tilt the screen to peek and see the status bar up at the top, which shows me the time, battery indicator, WiFi indicator, and more.
You don't see the status bar until I tilt the phone and peek at it. Now here's a quick note on the status bar. You might find it frustrating that you don't have the clock on the screen at all times. Some people would prefer to see the clock all the time, not just with the peeking features. If you want to enable the clock and status bar at all times, make sure you watch the movie on settings later in the course. Now let's look at another thing that shows off dynamic perspective. I'm going to open up the maps app. You can see that I've already done a search for Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
This is a location that has a 3-D model of the map. I'll zoom in closer by pinching on the screen and now I can tilt the phone around or move my head to see the 3-D image of the observatory shift on the screen. I'm going to do a search in the map for a pizza place. Now I can see that there are several pizza places in that area. And if I tilt the phone, I can peek and get Yelp review information next to each of these locations.
Let's finish up by taking a look at some of the user interface elements that also take advantage of face tracking technology. Earlier in the course we talked about the left and right hidden panels and the quick action panel. We saw that you can access these by swiping from the edge of the screen. But you can also access these with motion gestures. This will work the same on the home screen and most apps. If I tilt the left edge of the phone toward my face, it will activate the left panel.
Just tilt it in the other direction to dismiss it. Tilting the right edge toward my face will activate the right panel. And again, I can dismiss it by tilting in the other direction. So here in the maps, I can get to my layer menus by tiling to the left, and I can see my recent searches by tilting to the right. If I go to the home screen, I get different left and right panels. Remember, the left panel is always going to give you menus for the app or screen you're on and the right panel is contextual, so it changes depending on the app.
Another handy motion feature is auto scroll. So I'm going to go into the Silk web browser and I'm going to open up a page that has a long list of text. Like most smart phones, I can swipe up or down to scroll on the page. But I can also use the auto scroll gesture. Just by angling the phone away from my face the web page will scroll up. If I angle the screen toward my face, it'll scroll down. The speed will change based on how much or how little I'm angling the phone.
This works in the web browser and a few other apps. And one more motion gesture that I want to look at is the swivel gesture. This will activate the quick actions panel. All you need to do is swivel the phone clockwise or counterclockwise a little bit and the quick action panel opens. Swivel again to dismiss it. As we saw earlier, the quick actions menu will show you your notifications, as well as some essential quick tools like the airplane mode toggle, WiFi and Bluetooth switches, and a shortcut to settings.
As you use the tilt gesture to open the left and right panels, and the swivel gesture to open the quick actions panel, keep in mind that these features work with the face tracking technology. So you do need to be looking at the phone for these features to work and they have nothing to do with how fast or how hard you move the phone. These functions are not based on inertia or acceleration. You don't have to move the phone quickly. You just need to move it enough to change the camera perspective on your face. So those are the essentials of dynamic perspective and gesture controls.
Make sure you check out the movie on settings where we'll see how to make adjustments and even disable some of these features if you want. But for now, I suggest you take some time and get used to these features. They give you a whole new way to interact with your phone.