Amazon smartphone rumors might be nothing new, but the intensity of these rumors has increased significantly in recent months.
Back in September we heard reports of a low-cost (or even free) Amazon smartphone. At the beginning of October, we learned there might even be several different phone models in the works, and just last week new rumors claimed HTC might be partnering up with Amazon to build the devices and sell them directly to Amazon Prime members.
Today we have received yet another piece to the Amazon smartphone puzzle.
Unwired View has stumbled upon an Amazon patent application that was filed back in March 27th, 2012. In the patent, Amazon describes a system where “a user attempting to obtain information about an object can capture image information including a view of that object, and the image information can be used with a matching or identification process to provide information about that type of object to the user.”
In short, the idea would be a system that allows you to take a real-world 3D object and snap a picture that can then be used to match the item with an Amazon product. From there, you could then buy the product directly from the e-tailer. What makes this patent interesting is that we have heard this all before.
One of the past Amazon smartphone rumors detailed a handset that had a faux 3D effects system and the ability to use its camera to scan an image and then match it with an Amazon product. The existence of this patent doesn’t truly confirm the existence of an Amazon smartphone, but it does add extra weight to the rumor.
Of course, the image scanning and matching patent could just as easily make its way into a Kinde Fire tablet in the future.
So how well would such a system actually work? Using Amazon’s included illustrations as a judge, the service works perfectly with certain items like books and movies. For more complex items like shoes, coats and hats — the system seems to require you to go through some extra hoops and an alignment process that might make using this service more of a burden than a feature.
What do you think of the idea of an image scanning/matching service for Amazon’s smartphone or Kindle Fire products? Interested or does this all sound more like a gimmick than a useful feature?