Point, Click, Search: eBay To Add Image Recognition To Mobile Apps

Today, at eBay’s new developer conference, Innovate, CEO John Donahoe told reporters that the company plans to roll out image-recognition technology for its mobile offerings by the end of the year. Yes, that’s right. Images, get ready to be recognized.

While Donahoe did not specify which of eBay’s apps would benefit from this technology, as its suite of mobile apps is not exactly pushing into the millions, we’re hoping that most of them will make the cut. The image recognition integration will allow users of eBay’s mobile apps to snap photos of items they see in the real world on their mobile phones, at which point the apps will then match the photo with similar products currently on sale on eBay.com. This will be a huge addition for the eCommerce giant: Point, click, upload, and find the product you desire. Via image search.

According to the AP, eBay’s fashion section already offers a comparable feature that enables users to check out similar products to what they’re currently searching for on the site.

If this sounds familiar, you may be a user of Google Goggles, the magic app in which a user simply opens said app, captures the objects or text images they want to search for, and lets Google do the rest. Granted, Google Goggles isn’t perfect for every search. Looking for plants, cars, furniture, or apparel? Not so good. Which is why image recognition on eBay apps will do quite nicely.

Or, hey, if you’re lazy, you can always just drag an image into the Google search bar and let the search engine scramble to figure out just what it is. Or, perhaps you’re looking for wine? Talk to Vivino.