AFD News: Amazon introduces ‘Narcissus’, augmented reality mirror
April 1, 2016 (AFD News)
Amazon (AMZN) announced an addition to its consumer hardware products today, an augmented reality mirror named “Narcissus”.
“The Narcissus allows our Amazon customers to see products in their homes and themselves in products before they buy them,” said Malcolm Franklin Issent, Amazon V.P. of Narcissus Development.
As demonstrated at the launch event, the Narcissus looks like a full-length mirror, surrounded by a number (17) of small cameras.
While it does function as a mirror, it is also a Wi-Fi connected screen.
Using the Narcissus app on a SmartPhone, http://www.amazon.narcissus.com, or an optional voice remote, the customer asks to see a product.
The product appears in the screen, while the screen continues to reflect the room.
For example, a customer can ask to see a lamp, and the lamp will appear in the mirror, and in an appropriate place, such as on a nightstand.
“Narcissus uses an artificial intelligence program named Willis to work within a map of the room. Willis is able to recognize thousands of household surfaces, and understands through a contextual neural network where a given item might belong,” said Issent.
When we were able to get five minutes with the Narcissus, we found that Willis worked remarkably well. When we asked for a jewelry box, it appeared on a dresser next to the closet. Even more impressive, we could rotate it, and the image in the mirror would change, as well as being able to move it to another place in the room.
The Willis feature will be available when the Narcissus ships to Prime members who pre-order it for delivery on May 12th.
Issent went on to describe two future features which will be available in “the coming months”.
With the Narcissus Dressing Room, customers will be able to see how an article of clothing will look on them, even as they move around and try it with items they already own.
The other major feature is Narcissus Spotlight. While no demonstration was available, an animation showed that a video, such as a movie or TV show, would be running on the Narcissus screen and the customer would appear to be in the scene. There didn’t seem to be any interaction, but the size of the customer was appropriate to other characters. While it is an interesting concept, we will have to wait to see the implementation. The CW was announced as a partner.
Similar to Amazon’s successful Alexa Voice Service, initially available on the Amazon Echo, there will be a third party developer platform, called “Narcissus Views”. Among the companies announced as having Narcissus Views in development were Rovio (maker of Angry Birds), the Marvel division of Disney, and National Geographic. Pupvizion had a demo which allowed us to see a puppy of one of six breeds of our choice (and a mixed breed) in the room with us.
For more information, see
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There is, of course, no Amazon Narcissus…although honestly, I wish there was.😉
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