Amazon Phone Identifies Any Product And Finds Links To Purchase

Amazon Phone Identifies Any Product And Finds Links To Purchase

The online retailer's Fire phone and Firefly service is like a shoppable Shazam for everything.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 19 june 2014

Amazon recently unveiled its new smartphone, the Fire Phone, which becomes available in July, and alongside that announcement, the company has also unveiled its new Firefly service, which allows people to identify products and information out in the real world and then find the links to purchase those items.

The Firefly service is like a shoppable Shazam, the popular mobile app that recognizes the music and media playing around the user. The service comes as a built-in feature in the Fire phone and it basically recognizes objects in the real world, including QR codes, bar codes, web and email addresses, phone numbers, movies, music, TV episodes, and millions of other products.

Firefly combines multiple image, text and audio recognition technologies with Amazon’s vast library of physical and digital content to identify products and information in the real world. The Fire Phone has a dedicated button for Firefly and Fire users simply have to press the dedicated Firefly button to scan an item and take action in seconds. Of course, Firefly not only provides the information about the item but also the Amazon purchase links so users can decide whether they want to buy the item or not.


According to Amazon, Firefly can identify more than 100 million products and then access their product details. Users will be able to add them to their Wish List or order them on

Firefly can identify printed text on surfaces like cards, signs, posters, and magazines — allowing Fire users to make calls, send emails, save contact information, and visit websites without having to type out the numbers or addresses.

The service can also recognize films and TV episodes. It uses IMDB for X-Ray to show the synopsis, cast members, and other related content of the clips, and allows users to add the content to their Watch List or download them for immediate viewing.

Firefly recognizes music as well and uses Amazon Music to show all related information about a particular music track. Users can then choose to add them to their Wish List or download them to their Fire phone.


The Firefly SDK is available for developers so they can create new ways to use the technology. Developers like iHeartRadio and StubHub have already used the SDK to create Firefly-enabled apps so users can create a new radio station based on a music track or find concert tickets.

Amazon already plans to add artwork recognition, foreign language translation, and wine label recognition powered by Vivino to the Firefly service later this year.


[h/t] The Next Web, Quartz, TechCrunch


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