Amazon smartphone’s real world 3D object recognition/matching service confirmed, detailed in a patent app
More and more information is leaking about the upcoming Amazon smartphone. Few weeks ago we’ve learned that online retailer has several phones in development, one of them, first imagined by Jeff Bezos himself and codenamed “Smith”, may come with advanced faux-3D user interface. Last week WSJreported that Amazon has tapped HTC to make its smartphones. Then Bloomberg confirmed the report, adding that Amazon has been in talks with HTC since June 2013, at least.
Some of those rumors mentioned an image recognition feature/service that would let you take a picture of a real-world 3D object, match to Amazon product and buy it. We can now confirm, that Amazon is indeed working on such real world image recognition and matching system, and have some details about it.
The new service is described in Amazon’s patent application “User guided object identification”:
As you can see, if this service is implemented – you will indeed be able to take a picture of the real world object, and then match it to similar offering on Amazon. For some things, like books, the new feature should work seamlessly. Snap a photo of the book cover, and you are taken to that same book page on Amazon.
For other stuff – the process is more complicated. To find and match the shoe, a handbag or other real world item, you’ll have to do a bit of work. Like aligning a sneaker or a boot in the camera viewfinder/screen to match an outline provided by Amazon, or even placing it in the necessary category. Which might prove too much of a hassle to make the object matching a widely adopted thing, instead of an interesting curiosity.
Of course, the system described in the patent app is just a rough outline, and much will depend on actual implementation- how easy the service is to use, and how accurate the actual 3D object recognition/matching is.
We’ll have to wait for the first real Amazon Kindle smartphone to know that.