EBay uses AR to select boxes

Ebay office exterior
EBay using AR to help with shipping. (Lin Cheong/CC BY 2.0)

A new augmented reality (AR) solution from eBay allows sellers to easily and quickly select the best flat-rate box for shipments. 

Built on Google's ARCore platform, eBay is using motion tracking and environment understanding to place items inside boxes of various sizes. Using the Android feature, users select a box size and place the virtual box over their purchased item. This way, sellers can see if the item fits inside any USPS Flat Rate shipping box before physically packing the item. 

EBay's solution is meant to save time that sellers waste looking for boxes and can provide real-time shipping costs. 

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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,” says James Meeks, head of mobile at 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 solution is available through the eBay app. It was designed from employees during the company's eBay Hack Week, which challenges staff technologists to innovate the e-commerce experience in a companywide competition. 

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"The feature applies augmented reality in a way that saves time and removes barriers to selling, helping users save time and money that would otherwise be spent locating appropriate shipping boxes," a spokesperson from eBay told FierceRetail. 

Moving forward, eBay will continue to look for authentic ways for AR to fit into the shopping experience.

"Our team is dedicated to developing AR experiences and you will continue to see innovation from using this technology," the spokesperson added.