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eBay adds drag-and-drop ability to its image search tool

The feature will go live in August in the US, UK, Germany and Australia.

Last year, eBay launched a visual search capability for its mobile app that makes it possible to find items with pictures instead of words. Now, the online marketplace is making it even easier to use -- you don't even have to take screenshots of whatever it is you want to find anymore, because eBay will soon allow you to drag and drop images into its search bar. For instance, if you search for a "Hello Kitty purse" in the app and find one that catches your eye, you can drag that photo into the search bar to find listings featuring identical or similar items. It won't only give you a way to search for purchases quickly, but also to find the best deals on the website.

According to eBay, its convolutional neural networks process the photo you use by transforming it into a vector representation. The system then compares that vector against live listings and publishes the results based on visual similarities. eBay says it has also improved the feature's ability to search for items in Fashion, Home & Garden and other visually rich categories over the past months. Drag-and-drop will debut in August for Android and iOS, though you'll only be able to access it if you're in the US, UK, Germany and Australia.

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