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Image search coming to eBay mobile apps a la Google Goggles

I wouldn’t say that I use it terribly often, but Google Goggles is an amazing little app. I take a picture of something — almost anything — and it will recognize what it is. If it’s a product, I can then do a quick online search for reviews and pricing information. eBay wants to do the same thing with its mobile apps.

eBay CEO John Donahoe announced at the Innovate eBay new developer conference that the company plans on rolling out image recognition technology in is mobile offerings before the end of the year. Once again, the core concept mirrors that of Google Goggles. You’re out in the world, you take a picture of something you want, and the eBay app starts searching through its online marketplace for similar products that you can bid on and buy.

Since this is eBay, the image search will be geared more toward buying products and related products. As such, snapping pictures of clothing and furniture may work a heck of a lot better (assuming they’ve got the algorithm nailed down) than with Google Goggles. The latter doesn’t recognize apparel all that well, for instance.



About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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One comment

  1. Image recognition is an amazing technology but like what you said – since eBay is geared towards buying and not search in general, then the probability of not getting any results is greater than Google Goggles. Although surely the number of eBay sellers will continually increase – exciting what would be the role of sellers once this is rolled out. Perhaps they should submit multi-shots of a product to be recognized by an app, and so on.

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