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Was the Amazon Phone Inspired by This Video?

Johnny Lee's video has more than 10 million views on Youtube.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Amazon is widely expected to unveil its first smartphone tomorrow, in an event hosted in Seattle. As Re/code and other publications have reported, the phone is expected to include technology that lets users see different dimensions of the image on the screen by simply moving their head.

In an article published today about Amazon’s secretive Lab126 R&D lab, Businessweek journalist Brad Stone traces one of the inspirations of the phone to a wild YouTube video from 2007 uploaded by hacker Johnny Chung Lee, now a Googler.

In it, Lee uses a Nintendo Wii controller to hack together a way to create virtual-reality-like 3-D viewing without 3-D glasses. (Never mind the goofy specs he wears in the clip.) Here’s the video, which has now been viewed more than 10 million times. Below it is the Amazon teaser of regular folk amazed by the retailer’s latest invention.

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