Following an announcement earlier in the summer, eBay this week launched an "Image Search" feature in its iOS application. Image Search uses computer vision technology powered by AI to let you search the popular auctioning site by snapping a picture -- or uploading one from your Camera Roll -- and receive similar results based on image recognition abilities.

Live now in the eBay iOS app, you can tap the camera icon in the search bar at the top of the home screen, choose "Image Search," then take a picture or upload one from Photos. You'll have to grant eBay access to both your iOS Camera and Photos apps for the feature to work properly.

ebay image search pic 1
After you take a picture or choose one, you can crop it so it focuses on the item you want to search, and then tap "Search." eBay will then show you listings for items that are a "close match" or "visually similar" to the product in your picture. Image Search takes into account all of eBay's over one billion listings, according to the company.

Leveraging the latest advances in two core parts of artificial intelligence -- computer vision and deep learning -- these new features make it easier to find and buy the things that inspire you. When you upload images to run Find It On eBay and Image Search, we use a deep learning model called a convolutional neural network to process the images.

The output of the model gives us a representation of your image that we can use to compare to the images of the live listings on eBay. Then, we rank the items based on visual similarity and use our open-source Kubernetes platform to quickly bring these results to you, wherever you are in the world.

eBay also launched "Find It On eBay" for Android smartphones only, which lets users start an image search on another social platform, like Facebook. Using a share extension on an image, Android users can tap eBay and the retailer's app will open to show similar listings.

ebay image search pic 2
We've performed a few quick Image Searches today and found mostly solid results for some items (an Apple Watch and band), although other products stumped the software so much we got an error (Nintendo Amiibo, Apple Watch dock). eBay still hasn't said if some products are more reliable than others, but it did mention that Image Search will gain intelligence as customers use it more, as is typical with machine learning technology.

Image Search is live now on iOS and Android, and Find It On eBay has also launched on Android this week. The eBay app on iOS doesn't require an update for Image Search, so it appears the company is rolling out the feature through over-the-air installs.

Tag: eBay

Top Rated Comments

Zxxv Avatar
60 months ago
Doesn’t work. I scanned my dick and all it showed me was a President.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nfl46 Avatar
60 months ago
Wow. It really works. I took a random picture of my fan, and it found the exact one on eBay.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
earthTOmitchel Avatar
60 months ago
Wow. It really works. I took a random picture of my fan, and it found the exact one on eBay.
I've been surprised, too. The best results I've gotten so far are for specific products like my Apple Watch and a few bands, although plenty of non-AW bands have surfaced. I was hoping odd things like Amiibo would bring up cool results, though.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
x-evil-x Avatar
60 months ago
Wow. It really works. I took a random picture of my fan, and it found the exact one on eBay.


Attachment Image
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ck2875 Avatar
60 months ago
Pretty surprised Amazon hasn't added this yet, but I'm guessing it won't be long.
Amazon has had this since early 2014 ('https://techcrunch.com/2014/02/06/amazon-puts-image-recognition-into-its-main-ios-app-prepare-to-be-even-more-showroomed-retailers/'). You just tap the camera icon to the right of the search bar.

Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
whyamihere Avatar
60 months ago
Pretty surprised Amazon hasn't added this yet, but I'm guessing it won't be long.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
apple music

Apple Increases Apple Music Subscription Price for Students in Several Countries

Sunday May 22, 2022 1:57 am PDT by
Apple has silently increased the price of its Apple Music subscription for college students in several countries, with the company emailing students informing them their subscription would be slightly increasing in price moving forward. The price change is not widespread and, based on MacRumors' findings, will impact Apple Music student subscribers in but not limited to Australia, the...
EA Apple Maybe Feature

Apple Reportedly Talked With Electronic Arts About Potential Acquisition

Monday May 23, 2022 10:58 am PDT by
Apple is one of several companies that have held talks with Electronic Arts (EA) about a potential purchase, according to a new report from Puck. EA has spoken to several "potential suitors," including Apple, Amazon, and Disney as it looks for a merger arrangement. Apple and the other companies declined to comment, and the status of the talks is not known at this time, but Apple does have an ...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...