Snap & Tap: Can Computer Vision, Machine Learning & AI Save eBay?

Ebay 2017Machine learning and artificial intelligence are reshaping the ecommerce landscape in every discernible way.

Ecommerce powerhouse eBay, for example, just announced two new computer vision features that are coming to its platform this fall (2017).

Computer vision enables machines to "understand" images by processing and analyzing them as opposed to relying on human-generated categorization data, such as keywords and descriptions.

Using its new Image Search feature, however, eBay indicated that consumers will be able to "snap" a photo of a real-world object and use that image to find similar items on its marketplace (when the feature is formally introduced). eBay is also debuting a solution, dubbed "Find it on eBay", that allows consumers to simply "tap" items on any website - on a blog or on Pinterest, for example - and find similar items to purchase by sharing the URL with eBay.

The new Image Search feature will initially be available through the eBay app on both Android and iOS. The Find it on eBay feature will be limited to Android at launch.

"Moments of shopping inspiration can come at any time, whether you're walking down the street or browsing your social media feed," said Mohan Patt, vice president of buyer experience at eBay.

"At eBay, we're focused on creating new complementary technology that helps our millions of shoppers easily find the things they love at the best value."