Amazon's Smartphone Event | CNET

Amazon's Smartphone Event

Join CNET for coverage from Amazon's event, starting at 10:30 a.m. PT on Wednesday, where the online retailer is widely expected to unveil its first smartphone. Our live blog will kick off about an hour beforehand and will bring you news updates, photos, and commentary.

  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:08:13 PM
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:08:21 PM
    Firefly can also listen to music and recognize audio tracks.
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:08:31 PM
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:08:43 PM
    It looks like Firefly is the ultimate app for getting people to buy random products they use on a normal day.
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:08:45 PM
  • Jessica Dolcourt 6/18/2014 6:08:54 PM
    Music ID works uniformly well on every OS application I've seen, and guess what .. you can buy the track from Amazon! (Or interact with third-party apps as well, natch.)
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:08:55 PM
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:09:04 PM
    Firefly can listen to a song and build an iheartradio channel around it.
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:09:16 PM
    Firefly can also recognize television shows (audio).
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:09:27 PM
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:09:42 PM
    By recognizing the show, it pulls up info on the actors and specific episode and scene. Wow.
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:09:46 PM
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:09:51 PM
    It pulls in Xray data.
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:09:58 PM
    Of course, you can buy the video right there.
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:10:17 PM
    Firefly can also recognize art, which brings up Wikipedia entry and artist and art info.
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:10:19 PM
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:10:34 PM
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:10:55 PM
    If you see a number, you can use Firefly to scan it, allowing you to make a phone call.
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:11:00 PM
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:11:15 PM
    Firefly recognizes a hundred million different items in real-world situations, he says.
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:11:19 PM
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:11:41 PM
  • Jessica Dolcourt 6/18/2014 6:11:44 PM
    Bezos points out that machine vision can be tough because you have to contend with glare, for instance, which messes up the imaging.
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:12:22 PM
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:12:24 PM
    Firefly uses "Semantic Boosting" to get the phone number right by eliminating invalid numbers. That helps when scanning an image with glare or wrinkles.
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:12:46 PM
    This all happens invisibly to the user. You just get the right number, he says.
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:12:47 PM
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:13:01 PM
  • Jessica Dolcourt 6/18/2014 6:13:40 PM
    I love the tie-in between Firefly and using something like a phone number on a poster. Bezos is explaining how Amazon does this on the backend.
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:13:50 PM
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:14:06 PM
    Firefly "scrapes" the image for relevant info, compressing a large image file to a smaller one with only small bits of info. That helps the phone send the info to its cloud service to process the image and get the appropriate answer.
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:14:07 PM
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:14:13 PM
    There's a dedicated Firefly button.
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:14:30 PM
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:14:52 PM
    Firefly is the kind of service that really has to be tested out before you can appreciate its value.
  • Jessica Dolcourt 6/18/2014 6:15:00 PM
    The Firefly button is not to be confused with the camera shutter button. Amazon is embracing buttons where other phone-makers are experimenting with losing them completely. I think the point is more about quickly accessing the tools you want to use, rather than how you get there. Me, at this stage, I like buttons.
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:15:10 PM
    It appears to work really quick -- I want to see how quick it is outside of a controlled demo.
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:15:10 PM
  • Jessica Dolcourt 6/18/2014 6:15:19 PM
    Third-party developers can build onto Firefly, too, using Amazon's content.
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:15:24 PM
  • Jessica Dolcourt 6/18/2014 6:15:36 PM
    And by content, I mean the database and all the APIs.
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:15:44 PM
    Amazon has a Firefly SDK that allows developers to build custom actions that take advantage of its recognition capabilities.
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:15:48 PM
  • James Martin 6/18/2014 6:16:06 PM
  • Roger Cheng 6/18/2014 6:16:06 PM
    Bezos says it took iHeartRadio one day to build a link to its app using the SDK.
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