eBay Innovation Demo Expo

Richard Brewer-Hay

I attended my second eBay Innovation Demo Expo earlier this week. The event allows employees to share their innovative ideas for the future of eBay and commerce by building prototype applications and showing them off to their peers and eBay executives. This was the 4th semi-annual eBay Innovation Demo Expo and it was great to see so many different ideas and passionate people come together.


Innovations from past Demo Expos have inspired several core features on the site, as well as many patents and patent filings. The eBay Pulse update was a result of this year’s Spring Demo Expo event, as was the VUVOX acquisition.

For the Fall event, teams were asked to create projects around any one or more of the following themes, using eBay services and APIs:
• Trust
• Finding
• Selection

John Donahoe kicked off the event and there were 35 demos on display on Tuesday. I managed to attend 13 of them. Some of which are already in limited public release; others still at the conceptual stage before going into Beta. I plan on writing about individual projects as they get closer to reality and testing, but for now, here is one of the cooler demos I was able to attend:

ClickiT & Buy it on iPhone
One of the demos from the Spring Expo was eBay Mobile; something that I talked about here on Ink and that became available in Europe earlier last month. This Fall’s Demo Expo saw tools and solutions that built upon that technology and one nifty solution was the eBay ClickiT and Buy It on iPhone.

Essentially, it is a native iPhone application which would allow users to take a picture of a barcode of an item in a store, upload it and see the prices and deals for that same product on eBay. Basically, you could be in a shopping mall looking at a digital camera you’re interested in buying, take a picture of the barcode of that camera, and do a quick check to see if the camera is available cheaper on eBay all from your iPhone. I should add the caveat that I don’t actually own an iPhone but I thought that this would be a pretty cool feature to have on it. Definitely better than some of the fun but pretty much inconsequential apps I’ve seen on friend’s iPhones (the “Light Sabre” app and “Crazy Pumpkin” app to name but two).

Like I said, I plan on reviewing more products and tools that came out of this Fall’s Expo event over the coming weeks. Some of which I saw definite benefit and immediate appeal for both buyers and sellers alike. I’m looking forward to sharing that with everyone soon.