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Amazon Patent Would Let You Instantly Buy Whatever You See

by Jacob Kleinman | October 21, 2013October 21, 2013 6:00 pm PDT

A new patent from Amazon for “User-Guided Object Identification” could be implemented in future Kindle tablets and smartphones to let users scan and quickly purchase any product they see in real life using their device’s built-in camera. The technology may sound a bit creepy, but it makes sense for Amazon, especially as the company looks for ways to make more money through its devices after selling them at a loss.

The patent itself is pretty straightforward. If you see something you like, whether at a friends house, outside or even in a physical store, you scan the object and your Amazon device quickly loads up a product page with pricing and other information along with the option to instantly make a purchase. The patent also details how the app might ask you to frame the product from a particular angle, say its name aloud or manually enter additional information if scanning alone doesn’t do the job.

The technology described in Apple’s patent would also work extremely well with Google Glass or any similar HUD display device, though based on Amazon’s history the company would likely opt to keep its app running exclusively on its own devices. The company’s existing mobile application allows for similar scanning using barcodes, though this sounds like it would work more like the Google Goggles application on Android, which is a bit more advanced and can recognize logos and other information.

USPTO

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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