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eBay launches AR tool to make shipping a breeze

Tim Maytom

eBay is trying to make life easier for its sellers with a new AR-powered tool that helps them figure out the best box to use for shipping their items to buyers.

The tool is built on Google's ARCore platform, which enables high-quality AR experiences on Android, and is designed to work in conjunction with the US Postal Service's (USPS) Flat Rate Boxes, which are commonly used by eBay sellers.

The tool will be added to the main eBay app for users with Android phones capable of supporting ARCore technology, and uses motion tracking and environmental understanding to place real-world items inside virtual shipping boxes of various sizes.

Users can select a box size, place it over their sold item and move it around to see a complete view of the product inside the box. It enables sellers to see if an item fits inside any USPS Flate Rate shipping box before they purchase a physical box or start attempting to package the item.

"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 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 of our sellers to help them save time and remove barriers."

An early iteration of the AR tool was developed during eBay's Hack Week, a company-wide competition that challenges employes to innovate and reimagine the eCommerce experience.