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Blog 23

eBay Developing “Zero Effort Commerce” For Wearables

Can you imagine a smartwatch or connected glass that anticipates your needs and potential purchases before you do? eBay can.

The company has created a new engineering and design think-tank to develop exactly this type of software for wearables, utilizing what they call Zero Effort Commerce (ZEC). With ZEC, your wearable can make intelligent and predictive shopping suggestions for you based on your preferences and previous shopping history.

So, if you like that purse in the store window, you can take a picture of it – and let the theoretical eBay app on your smartwatch image-search the item, pull up purchase options for it in your size and even anticipate the shipping cost. Or if your sneakers are getting old and in need of replacement, your connected glass can flash a number of options when you happen to pass by a shoe store.

eBay’s latest investment in their Innovations and New Ventures group reflects their commitment to expanding their technological boundaries. This expanding focus on wearables is reminiscent of their earlier development for tablets and mobile – a proactive and futurist strategy that has definitely paid off for the company over the last five years.

Steve Yankovich, who spearheads Innovation and New Ventures at eBay, explains their forward-thinking methodology, “We’re not focused on short-term revenue, we’re trying to see what the future looks like.”

Not that eBay is a complete neophyte to the wearables sector. In March, they launched an app for Pebble, which allows users to follow listings on their smartwatch and send a “watchlist” to their phone for later purchase. And last year, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear boasted a similar eBay app.

Certainly, however, this recent creation of a wearables-specific research team will take the company’s involvement in the category to a whole new level. It is also another indicator that wearable tech might be the next big thing to impact not only the personal commerce sector, but perhaps every aspect of daily life.

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