By JR Bookwalter

3D Touch-equipped Windows Phone handset reportedly axed

Goldfinger may not have been the kiss of death for James Bond, but a Windows Phone prototype originally bearing the same name appears to have met its maker by Microsoft’s own hands.

WPCentral reported Friday that Microsoft has apparently laid to rest any plans for a new high-end Windows Phone handset known as “McLaren,” an internal codename previously referred to as “Goldfinger.”

Apparently lacking the Midas touch, McLaren was rumored to be Microsoft’s flagship device for this fall, which would have reportedly introduced new technology alongside the launch of Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2.

McLaren’s main claim to fame was an enticing new feature known as 3D Touch, a sensor-based system first outed last November, which allows users to interact with the device using touchless hand gestures.

Feature or gimmick?

Although that sounds more than a little like Amazon’s new Kindle Phone, Microsoft apparently found a way to perform such tasks as swipes and side taps without the use of camera sensors.

3D Touch worked hand-in-hand with other APIs including MixView, a feature which allows a single tile to break apart into smaller pieces, each of which could be independently selected using a finger hovering over the display.

The report paints the impression that Microsoft’s development team found 3D gestures to be little more than a gimmick at the moment, although development on the technology behind 3D Touch is said to be ongoing even as McLaren’s carcass turns cold.

While the natural assumption might be that McLaren was axed as part of last Thursday’s extensive layoffs in Redmond, unnamed sources claim the project actually met an untimely end sometime “within the last few weeks,” leaving Microsoft with a potentially big hole in their holiday lineup this year.

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