Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablets now getting Firefly visual search

JC Torres - Feb 26, 2015, 8:50am CST
Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablets now getting Firefly visual search

The Amazon Fire Phone might be considered a flop, but that doesn’t mean the retailer giant is giving up on all its features. One of those features is Firefly, Amazon’s rather quirky and amorphous visual search tool. That feature is now arriving on Amazon‘s more affordable tablet line, the Kindle Fire HD, to give users a bit of an experience of what it feels like to have a digital eye, the Internet, and Amazon’s cloud services at your disposal in trying to identify things that you can’t.

At first glance, Amazon Firefly’s purpose sounds simple enough. Snap up a photo of a thing and Amazon will analyze it and point you to the corresponding product on its virtual shelves. That’s not surprising considering Amazon’s core business. Things get a bit muddled, however, when you consider all the other things that Firefly can do. Scan a business card and it will be able to analyze the text there. Show it a video on TV and it can identify what TV show or film it is. And, as of last December, it can even recognize about 2,000 artworks.

That functionality, which admittedly may be useful from time to time, is the one that is coming to Kindle Fire HD tablets in the US, the UK, and Germany. Those include the super wallet friendly, and also least powerful, Fire HD 6 and Fire HD 7. It seems, however, that not all of Firefly’s scanning abilities will make it, with only song, movie, and product search mentioned to make the cut.

Firefly is perhaps just one of the more useful features that the Fire Phone actually has. The Dynamic Perspective was seen more as a gimmick that didn’t fly. And the rest of the smartphone’s features, save for telephony, is pretty much available on Amazon’s tablets. Now with Firefly also making its way to the budget line, perhaps there is even less reasons for Amazon’s loyal followers to reach out for a Fire Phone at all.


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