Jeff Bezos’ baby, the Fire Phone, sported a few unusual hallmarks when it launched last summer, and one of its banner features is starting to trickling down to Amazon’s less expensive Fire tablets. Amazon started to add its Firefly visual search to Fire HD tablets through an over-the-air update on Wednesday.
Firefly’s main purpose is to visually search for products on Amazon. Take a picture of, say, a DVD, and Firefly can bring you directly to the Amazon product page. But it’s not just a shopping engine — it can scan business cards, name shows and movies on TV, and even identify great works of art. Bezos reportedly personally requested the art identification feature.
Now it’s headed to Fire HD tablets in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany, including the Fire HD 6 and Fire HD 7, Amazon’s two most affordable tablets. (Amazon’s flagship high-performance tablet, the HDX 8.9, already had Firefly search.) According to Amazon, the version landing on HD tablets will have both song and movie recognition as well as Amazon’s product search.
Despite a chilly commercial reception to the Fire Phone, it doesn’t look as if it’s going anywhere. Amazon’s devices SVP David Limp has said the company is working on a sequel. Besides Firefly, the Fire Phone’s main banner feature was a 3D effect called Dynamic Perspective, which requires four expensive front-facing cameras. Dynamic Perspective may not end up on future Fire phones and tablets, but it seems as if Amazon’s going to keep pushing Firefly on all of its newer Fire devices — after all, it is in the business of selling products on Amazon.