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article imageeBay uses augmented reality to make online selling simpler

By James Walker     Mar 21, 2018 in Technology
eBay has launched a new feature that uses augmented reality to help sellers package items. Available in the company's official Android app, it uses motion tracking and environmental understanding to assess product dimensions and preview different boxes.
eBay detailed the project in a blog post this week, saying the solution avoids the "hassle" of sourcing shipping packages. By using augmented reality, users can try out different box sizes before they make a purchase. The app provides a visualisation of how much space the item will require.
To use the feature, you first select a box size that might be suitable for your item. You can then place the virtual box "over" the product, using a viewfinder powered by your phone's camera. The app lets you move the box around to view the product from different angles, allowing you to virtually check the fit.
The service works with USPS Flat Rate shipping containers. It offers real-time calculation of estimated shipping costs, using the item's weight and the package's dimensions. Sellers will be able to check and purchase packaging materials without having to travel to a store to try different box sizes. eBay said it will save time and "remove barriers" when selling on its platform.
eBay augmented reality packaging assistant
eBay augmented reality packaging assistant
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"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, eBay. "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."
The feature is powered by Google's ARCore augmented reality framework, which recently launched into general availability. eBay started development of the capability during an internal Hack Week. The company's mobile team and innovative technologists came together to improve the shipping experience using augmented reality. eBay's now one of a growing number of app vendors that supports ARCore.
According to Google, ARCore apps run on around a dozen different device models which account for over 100 million handsets across the world. In an update on the framework today, the company highlighted the success of some early ARCore experiences. The platform is already being used by app developers across various app genres, including entertainment, creativity and commerce.
eBay's AR packaging implementation is available from today in the latest version of the company's Android app. The feature will show up automatically when listing items for sale using an ARCore-enabled device.
More about Ebay, augmented reality, arcore, Mobile, future tech
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