Ebay adds “computer vision algorithm” automatically making product backgrounds white


Ebay has introduced new “computer vision algorithm” for its customers allowing them to remove the background on photos of their items.

The online marketplace’s new feature, now available on Android and iOS devices, enables sellers to instantly remove the background on photos of their goods and replace with a “clean white background”.

Aimed at consumer-to-consumer sellers and small businesses without access to professional photography equipment or editing software, allowing them to create professional-looking images which are also optimised for Google Shopping.

Ebay said that due to the lack of professional equipment “not all inventory is listed and photographed with optimal lighting or a clean white background.

“The resulting background — often clutter on a kitchen table, closet door or store shelf — creates noise and impacts results when a buyer shops using Image Search to find an item.”

The feature, which is accessible in the “Sell” menu on mobile devices, uses a computer vision algorithm to analyse contrast and pixel borders to establish a “foreground probability” for each pixel.

READ MORE: Ebay UK to divorce PayPal and take complete control of sale and payments

This gives each individual pixel a rating out of 100 to establish how likely it is that its part of the item being listed, and a mask will then be used to blend these pixels depending on their rating.

This technology was conceived during Ebay’s Hack Week, an annual company-wide competition challenging our technologists to innovate and reimagine the ecommerce experience.

“Leveraging the latest advances in computer vision and AI, we continue to work on additional features that will make our users’ lives easier,” Ebay added.

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