eBay iPad App Lets Users Purchase Items While Watching TV

A new feature for the eBay iPad application lets users search for and buy items related to the television programs they are watching.

eBay's app now comes with a feature called "Watch with eBay." Users enable this feature by entering their current network provider and the channel they are viewing. Once done, the eBay app brings up items related to the television show, the actors, guests or teams in a sporting event.

Steve Yankovich, vice president of mobile at eBay, spoke to Reuters about the app's intentions.

"The idea is to provide a new form of TV watching entertainment that includes the possibility of shopping and discovering interesting products people never would have discovered otherwise," said Yankovich. "We've seen that guys sitting around watching a sporting event will buy jerseys for the team they like."

"And normally when you're sitting around watching a sporting event on TV, you're not really thinking about being in shopping mode. But that's because no one presented it to you in a frictionless and pleasing way," Yankovich continued.

Now, this feature does not allow its users to purchase items from the specific scene of a televison show. Yankovich said that its content providers are beginning to tag video frames with the items in those scenes. This feature which will eventually make the aforementioned feature a reality. Watch with eBay could possibly synchronize with a Television show and display the current item shown to viewers.

"It will get down to actual product. It could literally be the brand name of clothing that each person is wearing in the scene, including the actual stock-keeping unit (SKU) for the piece of clothing," he said.

The app add-on is said to be adding more features that are noteworthy. Watch with eBay soon is able to provide recommendations based on the user's shopping interests. When the items are related to the show they are viewing, they will be featured on the screen.

Yankovich offered some final comments on the app's personal mission: "We will be your personal shopper paying attention so you don't have to. You just lean back, watch TV and we show you stuff you care about on the app."