- EBay has unveiled a new augmented reality feature for Android ARCore devices to help selling customers determine which U.S. Postal Service Flat Rate Box best fits their items, according to a press release.
- The feature is built on Google's ARCore platform, which has already garnered the attention of several other retailers. EBay's app uses motion tracking and "environmental understanding" to allow the seller to place a real-world item inside of virtual shipping boxes of various sizes, and see if the item fits before they choose a box or attempt to package the item.
- The purpose of using the AR technology is to ensure a perfect fit for packaging, and will hopefully save time spent looking at boxes at the local post office, while also providing real-time calculation of shipping costs.
In devising new technologies, eBay has two sets of customers to consider: its shoppers and its sellers. Other merchants have consumers that it must focus on, as well as vendors to accommodate to a degree, but eBay has to actively innovate for both sides of the commerce fence. It is in a relatively unique position in the global marketplace.
Last fall, eBay rolled out artificial intelligence-based image-recognition features to help shoppers locate products faster. Now, however, the marketplace is turning its sites on sellers. The new tool, now only available for newer Android phone models, will primarily benefit either infrequent sellers, or those who offer a variety of merchandise and often struggle to find the right packaging option.
A version for iOS and ARKit is under development, and will be released when the company is satisfied with the user experience and performance, an eBay spokesperson told AdWeek. Versions for other package carriers, as well as mail systems in other countries, are in the works, Engadget reported.
"By coupling Google's ARCore platform with premiere AR technology built at eBay, we are continuing to make the selling experience more seamless," said James Meeks, head of mobile at eBay, in a press release. "This technology is just one example of the types of innovation we're working on to transform eBay. It demonstrates our continual innovation on behalf our sellers to help them save time and remove barriers."