The Secrets of Amazon’s Firefly Button

The Firefly button Amazon's Fire Phone

It’s hard to believe, because Amazon’s already doing so many things which no company has ever done. But I took a good look at the details about the Firefly service which Amazon is also adding to their tablets, and discovered even more new features to be excited about…

Here’s a link to Amazon’s own FAQ about the Firefly button. But its coolest features are things that you may not even have thought of…

Firefly can Provide Real-Time Trivia For Scenes in a Movie
Amazon’s press release promises something amazing. They’ve watched 245,000 different movies and TV show episodes, and they’re also monitoring 160 different television channels in real-time. And it really works. In a test, a reviewer at Mashable discovered that it didn’t just identify what movie they were watching — it recognized a specific scene, and then acted on that information. Firefly actually reached into the Internet Movie Database, which is somehow integrated now with Amazon’s X-Ray service. The end result is that Firefly can actually share trivia with you about a specific scene in a movie — for example, which actors appear only in this scene.

And according to Amazon’s press release, it can also provide a quick synopsis of the plot — which would be really handle if you’re channel surfing, and landed on the second half of a movie. It can even add TV shows and movies to your watch list — so you can purchase them (from Amazon) and then start watching from the beginning!

Firefly Can Name That Tune
There used to be a game show called “Name That Tune” — but Amazon found a way to cheat. They’ve apparently also analyzed every second of every single popular song, and within a few seconds can match the sound of whatever you’re listening to to its title and artist in their database. (Making it something you can buy from Amazon.)

And you can also even buy concert tickets! When you’re listening to a song, Amazon not only identifies its original artist, but can also look up that performer’s touring schedule, and then offer you tickets to their next local appearance! And it doesn’t end there.

And 70 Million Bar Codes
According to Mashable, Firefly has other superpowers, too. “Thanks to a partnership with My Fitness Pal, I discovered that a box of Nilla Wafers has 120 calories in a serving-size of eight cookies.” That’s because Firefly can actually scan the bar codes on the side of most products you’d buy at a supermarket — and then follow-up with real information that is actually useful and relevant. How many products can Amazon identify? 70 million — so far. That includes DVDs (and music CDs), plus books and video games. But it also includes “household items” (like Nilla Wafers).

And of course, once it’s identified a product, your Fire Phone can also give you a chance to purchase a product… on Amazon!

More Firefly Tricks
If I’ve learned anything this week, it’s that we shouldn’t underestimate the power of Firefly. If it sees a phone number on a sign, it can bring up your phone to call it. If it sees an e-mail address, it can bring up your mail client to send them a message. If it sees a URL, it can pull up that web page instantly in your browser. And of course, it can also recognized QR codes.

But in the future, Amazon’s Firefly service could get even more amazing. Within the next 6 months, they’re planning to add an upgrade which lets it identify paintings. And by the end of the year, Amazon expects their Firefly service will be able to translate foreign language phrases into English. It will even recognize a bottle of wine by the information on its label!

I’ve been wondering why Amazon chosen the name Firefly, but they seem to be implying there’s an almost magical glow to the information it provides. Their official slogan for Firefly is “Illuminate Your World,” and it looks like they’ve found the holy grail for an online shopping site.

Everything that you love can now make a direct connection to Amazon.


For a shortcut to Amazon’s new smartphone, point your browser to
tinyurl.com/TryAFirePhone

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