Chapter 3. Firefly

Like Dynamic Perspective (Chapter 2), Firefly is another new technology introduced in the Fire phone that is sometimes hard to distinguish from magic. By pointing the Fire’s rear-facing camera at the world around you, the phone can recognize items it identifies in its field of vision, from stuff you can buy (such as DVDs, CDs, and books) to printed information you can act on with other apps in your phone (such as the items discussed in Phone Numbers, URLs, and Email Addresses).

After recognizing an item, Firefly provides contextual details relevant to the particular item you’ve found (more on these specific details in the sections that follow), allowing you to purchase the item (a benefit for both Amazon and you, as your complimentary Prime membership kicks in) or interact with it in some other way. Firefly does all of this so quickly and seamlessly, with some of the most obscure items you can find, that it certainly seems like magic.


Amazon claims Firefly recognizes more than 100 million items (including 245,000 movies and TV episodes, 160 live TV channels, 35 million songs, and 70 million miscellaneous products), an impressive number that isn’t easy to doubt once you start to try stumping it.

To get started, you can just navigate to Firefly by tapping its icon in the Carousel or app grid, but there’s a much easier and quicker way. The Camera button (refer back to Figure 1-1) doubles as a Firefly button. Just press and hold to open from anywhere (within an app, ...

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