Amazon’s Firefly for New Fire Phone offers ‘Semantic Boosting’

fire phone

Megan Geuss of Ars Technica reports, "At a Wednesday press conference in Seattle, Amazon announced a service that would go along with its newly debuted Fire Phone. Called Firefly, this new technology is packaged in an app that can identify up to 100 million objects. For the most part, this feature will integrate with the Amazon marketplace, allowing you to take photos of products and buy them from Amazon, but the technology used to make it run will also be available to developers in an SDK available now… Using Firefly, a button on the side of the Fire Phone will instruct the camera to recognize a phone number, a book, a DVD, a URL, a QR code, and more. Additionally, Firefly will be able to listen for music (like Shazam) and identify a song that's playing in the ambient noise around you."


Geuss continues, "Firefly can also identify TV shows down to the episode you're watching, as well as art pieces (identifying art based on an image was something this writer desperately desired while failing an art history class in high school).'Machine vision problems are a tough nut to crack,' Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told the crowd. 'You have glare, wrinkles, curves, and other problems.' He noted that Amazon uses 'semantic boosting' to keep Firefly's identification response time fast and accurate. For example, he said, if a picture is taken of a phone number with glare, Firefly can take what it knows about phone numbers in the area and use that to 'improve the probability of character recognition'.”


Read more here.

Image: Courtesy Amazon