SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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Dynamic Perspective SDK and Firefly SDK Now Available

(NASDAQ:AMZN)—Today at a launch event in Seattle, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos unveiled Fire, the first phone designed by Amazon. Fire is the only smartphone with Dynamic Perspective and Firefly, two new breakthrough technologies that allow customers to see and interact with the world through a whole new lens. Dynamic Perspective is an entirely new sensor system that responds to the way a customer holds, views and moves the phone. The Dynamic Perspective SDK gives developers access to algorithms that identify the X, Y and Z coordinates of the head, enabling a whole new class of apps and games. Firefly quickly recognizes things in the real world—web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, movies, music, and millions of products, and lets the user take action in seconds—all with the simple press of the Firefly button. With the Firefly SDK, developers can extend the use of the Firefly button to enable new actions their users can take based on what they identify. See a full breakdown of the Dynamic Perspective and Firefly SDKs, their contents, and what developers are saying about them at http://developer.amazon.com/firephone. Apps and games submitted and approved by July 18 will be available in the Amazon Appstore when Fire ships on July 25.

“Today we are launching the Dynamic Perspective SDK and the Firefly SDK. The underlying technologies for Dynamic Perspective and Firefly are sophisticated, but we’ve made it simple for developers to harness their capabilities,” said Ian Freed, Vice President, Amazon Fire phone. “Developing for Fire is easy—developers can mix and match APIs from the Dynamic Perspective and Firefly SDKs with standard Android APIs. We can’t wait to see what developers are going to do with these new, exciting technologies.”

Dynamic Perspective SDK

The Dynamic Perspective SDK includes a rich set of APIs and Controls to help developers do a number of things, such as incorporate peek, tilt and zoom capabilities within their app based on customer head movements, create immersive game play that includes depth, or provide quick navigation menus by tilting the device to the left or right. Here’s how developers are already using the Dynamic Perspective SDK:

USA TODAY used the Dynamic Perspective SDK to customize Fire’s enhanced carousel and show headlines most relevant to customer interest directly from the main Fire home screen. For example, if a customer frequents NFL stories in the Sports section, those headlines will appear prominently on Fire’s carousel. Additionally, while in the USA TODAY app, a user can tilt left to quickly get to special features like The Day in Pictures and Snapshot Polls. “Fire has provided USA TODAY with a unique platform for a deep, interactive experience,” said David Payne, Chief Digital Officer, Gannett. “Our new app for Fire lets readers take full advantage of Fire’s convenient one-handed navigation. Users get around the app easily with quick access to top-level navigation or headlines in any USA TODAY sub-section: News, Sports, Life, Money, Tech, Travel and Opinion.”

Zillow used the Dynamic Perspective SDK to integrate real-time information into their app’s user experience. In the Zillow app for Fire, customers can view new listings or nearby homes for sale and rent, right on the Fire carousel without having to open the Zillow app. In addition, Zillow brought a new photo experience to the device so users can use their head to zoom in on a bedroom or peek to see what’s around the kitchen corner. “Real estate shopping is an inherently mobile experience so any chance we have to bring listings or new information to a home shopper while they’re out on the go is a great thing,” said Jeremy Wacksman, Vice President of Marketing and Mobile, Zillow. “Photos are incredibly impactful for home shoppers—it is the most common activity for users of our app. We are thrilled to be able to go one step beyond static images and offer our users the opportunity to zoom in on the photos and then peek around the room with the Dynamic Perspective SDK.”

Ezone.com, the creators of Snow Spin and Crazy Snowboard, used the Dynamic Perspective SDK to allow players to control game characters using their head and how they view and move the phone—no tapping on the screen necessary. Using head and hand movements, users can control direction and jumping. Additionally, Ezone.com created a special backflip jump in Snow Spin exclusive to Fire customers, which is accessed with just a quick head nod. “Porting our existing Android versions of Snow Spin and Crazy Snowboard to Fire couldn’t have been easier, and we were able to add new innovative game moves such as the backflip with just a flick of your head, enabling even higher scores,” said Simon Edis, CEO of Ezone.com. “The Amazon team had all the tools ready to go, making it super easy for us to just drop them in our games and publish.”

CrowdStar used the Dynamic Perspective SDK to create the ability for Covet Fashion users to select their favorite fashion choices for their model. Using tilt and zoom, players can see details of outfits, making it easy and fun to vote on looks. “Dynamic Perspective is so innovative we’ve just begun to figure out how to take advantage of all the technology has to offer. The simplicity of the user interface and design around a one handed experience will allow us full creativity as we look ahead in our portfolio of apps and games,” said Jeffrey Tseng, CEO of CrowdStar. “Dynamic Perspective has unlocked capabilities we’ve always wanted to create in our game—incorporating zoom and pan in an incredibly natural way without having to touch the screen, is just the first example.”

Firefly SDK

With the Firefly SDK, developers can build apps that recognize real world objects—QR and bar codes, artwork, songs, movies and more—and let customers interact with them. The Firefly SDK comes with built-in recognizers and databases for products, music, movies, URLs and websites, as well as built-in actions such as dialing a phone number, looking up an object on Amazon or going to a website. Developers can use the Firefly SDK to take advantage of the built-in recognizers, databases and actions. Here’s how developers are already using the Firefly SDK:

iHeartRadio utilized the Firefly SDK with the built-in music recognizer and music database to identify songs playing. They built their own Firefly action to create iHeartRadio Custom Stations based on the artist and song Firefly recognizes. “Our integration allows listeners using Firefly to seamlessly discover music in a whole new way,” said Brian Lakamp, President of Digital for Clear Channel/iHeartRadio. “The Firefly SDK implementation enables music lovers to quickly dive into an iHeartRadio custom experience featuring a variety of songs similar to the one they just heard with just a touch of a button.”

StubHub used the Firefly SDK and the built-in Firefly song recognizer to let customers identify songs playing in the background and take various actions. “StubHub used the Firefly SDK and the built-in song recognizer, added a Firefly database of concerts and created a ticket purchase action so when customers hear a song in the background they can find out if the band is playing in their area and buy tickets,” said Brendan Weinstein, Android Development Lead at StubHub. “We extended the experience further by using the Dynamic Perspective SDK to bring users right into the concert—letting them look around a stadium or arena to get the feel for the specific seat they are interested in.”

Vivino, the most downloaded wine app in the world, will be using the Firefly SDK to add a new recognizer, database and actions to let customers learn about wine from wine labels. Customers will be able to just point Firefly at a wine label and find out the wine’s origins, its rating and food pairing suggestions. “We are currently working with the Firefly SDK to incorporate our sophisticated wine recognition software and comprehensive database of wine, to enable customers to select the best wine for any occasion,” said Heini Zachariassen, CEO at Vivino. “Soon, with the touch of a button, Fire customers can pick the best Cabernet, Merlot or Sauvignon Blanc for the perfect complement to a romantic dinner, cocktail party or special event.”

Android Compatibility

Fire is based on Android so if an app runs on Android it can run on Fire with little to no work. For a developer who just wants to get started with Fire they can submit their existing apps to the Amazon Appstore. Or, they can use the Dynamic Perspective and Firefly SDKs to easily integrate UI features such as shadows or hovering images within the app or game, or create left and right panels based on Fire’s three-panel UI design.

Reliance Entertainment Digital develops Real Steel World Robot Boxing. The game has more than 20 million downloads and has been available on Kindle Fire for the past 6 months. “We knew we wanted to take our Kindle Fire tablet game and make it available for Fire,” said Amit Khanduja, Global Executive Vice President at Reliance Big Entertainment. “Using the Android API controls that were familiar to us, we took our tablet app, made very minor updates and the game was ready within days for Fire. We are working on bringing all our games to Fire very quickly.”

ZQGame, a phone and tablet developer and publisher, used Fire’s Android API controls to do a simple and seamless port of their RPG Game, Pocket Knights, for Fire. “Device and platform diversity is how we are able to gain millions of players from around the world,” said Xin Liu, Chief Technology Officer, ZQGame, Inc. “The ease of use of Fire’s Android API made the transition of bringing our game to Fire simple—taking us only three days to be ready to deploy.”

Developer Benefits

With the launch of Fire, Amazon is making it even easier for developers to reach customers and monetize in the Amazon Appstore:

  • Amazon Mobile Ads API—developers earn $6 for every thousand interstitial ads displayed across any supported device in August and September (up to one million impressions per app per month) when they distribute their apps on Fire phones and send the first ad request from a qualified app.
  • Amazon App Testing Service—developers can now use Amazon’s app testing service to test their Fire apps before submitting them to the Amazon Appstore. Developers simply drag and drop an app and most will receive feedback about their app’s functionality within 90 seconds.
  • Appstore Developer Select—developers who enhance their existing Kindle Fire app to include the immersive new features in Fire phone can qualify for a special 500,000 Amazon Coins offer through the Appstore Developer Select Program and create campaigns where customers earn those Coins when they purchase apps and games. This is in addition to the regular program benefits that include 500,000 mobile ad impressions, enhanced merchandising, AWS credits, and additional Amazon Coins incentives. More details on the Appstore Developer Select program can be found at http://developer.amazon.com/select.

About Amazon.com

Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by three principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

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