Re: What the Hell is Firefly???
A comment posted above by ToxicDragon —
— implies that the camera in question really is the phone's camera, and not some on-screen pointing/selecting icon made to look like a camera:
"the ads I have seen feature a woman waving her phone about and having it scan things like websites and tv shows. . . . [P]ersonally I don't like waving my phone around in a crowded bar to find out what track is currently playing, . . . ."
So the pointing isn't done on screen, at Web sites, photos and videos displayed on the screen. Instead the phone itself — or rather its camera and/or microphone — is pointed at other screens, or at physical objects in one's environment.
In the case of Web sites and URLs, you aren't using your phone to browse the Web. Instead you are browsing the Web on some other computing device (even another phone?), but keeping your phone handy so you can point its camera at the other device's screen. TV shows and videos can be on a TV or a computer screen; pictures can be paintings or drawings or photographic prints in one's physical presence, or on a computer screen; phone numbers can be printed or even written by hand on a piece of paper, or displayed on a TV or computer screen; a bar code can be printed on paper or a package, or displayed on a screen; and so on.
It would have been nice if this had been spelled out originally. Or if a video or at least a photo or two of Firefly in use had been included with the article. And some of the details of how all this is supposed to work are still a little murky.
(E.g., how Firefly works with sound. The article explicitly mentions only the camera, but obviously a microphone must be involved too.)