eBay launches AI-powered visual search tools

The new image search feature lets shoppers use a photograph to find products for sale on the site.

eBay's new AI-powered feature lets you upload a pic to find an item eBay for Android and iOS is rolling out a new visual search feature. *** Called Image Search, it lets shoppers use an image to find products for sale on eBay. *** It uses computer vision and deep learning to compare your images to live eBay listings. *** The system then ranks the results based on visual similarity and displays them. *** eBay has more than one billion active listings on its site at any given time. *** But it’s a marketplace frequently maligned for being difficult to search through. *** Engineers have been working to add more AI services to eBay's ecommerce experience. *** The tech behind eBay’s latest feature was developed during its 2015 Hack Week event. *** eBay has hinted it plans to launch more computer vision products sometime in 2017. *** It even announced Find it on eBay, another new feature just for Android users. *** Instead of pasting photos into the search bar, shoppers can share URLs with eBay. *** Ebay’s mobile app will then surface live listings of the product.


eBay is rolling out a new visual search feature that lets shoppers use a photograph to find products for sale on the site.

The Image Search feature uses computer vision and deep learning to compare images that a shopper uploads to the eBay app to the images of live listings on eBay. The system then ranks the results based on visual similarity and displays them for the shopper.

It's a pretty impressive feat for eBay, considering it has more than one billion active listings on its site at any given time, and its marketplace is frequently maligned for being difficult to search through.

The technology behind eBay's Image Search feature was developed in 2015 during the company's annual Hack Week event. Since then, a designated team of engineers has been working to incorporate more AI-based services into eBay's ecommerce experience. In a blog post, eBay indicated that it plans to launch additional computer vision products "in the coming months."

eBay also announced something called Find it on eBay. It's conceptually similar to Image Search, but instead of pasting photos into the search bar, shoppers can share URLs with eBay, and then the eBay mobile app will surface listings of the product.

"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," said Mohan Patt, VP of Buyer Experience at eBay. "eBay Image Search and Find It On eBay make it possible for people to shop eBay using any image or photo that inspires them."

eBay said Image Search will arrive on the eBay app for both Android and iOS this fall, whereas Find it on eBay will launch exclusively on Android.