|Fri Sept 15 2017 09:37:29|
eBay Patent Would Let Shoppers Feel Fabric via Phones
By: Ina Steiner
Imagine being able to feel the fabric of a sweater or jacket on a mobile device when shopping on a website. eBay has thought of the concept, and in 2013 it filed a patent for a "searchable texture index." eBay envisions a day when a mobile device "permits a user to experience tactile quality of electronic content," and it wants to be able to provide information that would feed such technology.
"For example, a listing of an item provided by an on-line trading platform may include a description or an attribute that is indicative of texture, such as "denim" or "leather."
"When such attribute or description is determined to be present in a listing, the system for generating content that has a tactile dimension may search a texture index based on the attribute that is indicative of texture, and, if the texture index contains an entry that corresponds to that attribute or description, include texture data from the determined entry into the listing.
"The resulting version of the listing is enhanced with texture information and can be suitable for being presented on a tactile-enabled device in a manner that provides a user with tactile experience."
The concept is interesting, though it could provide some problems if shoppers who "felt" a piece of clothing on their device determines the item feels very different when they receive the item from the merchant.
Do you think you'll some day be able to feel the item you're browsing online?