Amazon Firefly: What Is It, and How Does It Work?

by Brandon Russell | July 23, 2014

There’s a laundry list of reasons that makes the Fire Phone so unique; it has Mayday, one free year of Prime (for a limited time), a dynamic perspective display, and a camera system that Amazon claims is a cut above the competition. But the most unique of all is something Amazon is referring to as Firefly, which is basically a direct portal to Amazon’s entire online emporium—all you need to do is press a button.

Firefly works like this: you press the Firefly button on the phone’s left side, and when the app pops up, you can immediately start identifying things like printed text in posters, get information on movies and TV episodes, recognize music and over 70 million products in Amazon’s stores, including household items, books, DVDs and more. It pretty much turns your device into a scanner that can quickly direct you right to the product you identified on Amazon’s website.

Let’s be honest: the feature is designed to benefit Amazon; the more products you buy through Amazon, the better. But the features—identifying printed text in magazine, saving new contacts and sending off emails without having to perform the long drawn out process of typing things out—is super handy. And with the ability to recognize over 240,000 movies and TV episodes (and 160 live TV channels), Firefly is one smart piece of software.

Check out the video above to see it in action. So far, we mostly have some good things to say about Amazon’s flagship feature. It’s pretty spot on with text, movies and music. But recognizing household items presented more of a challenge. It can only improve, however, so we’re optimistic Firefly is going to become a huge selling point for the Fire Phone. Or, better yet, maybe be available for more phones down the road.



Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...