Inflatable Sock Patented By eBay Could Change How Consumers Shop For Shoes Online

Have you ever ordered a pair of shoes online only to receive them and they don’t fit? Well, to rid consumers of the hassle that is ordering, returning and reordering, eBay has invented an inflatable sock to fit every shoe shape.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently published eBay’s application called “Methods And Systems To Re-create An Internal Shape Of A Shoe” which could change the way we shop for shoes online, eCommerceBytes.com reports.

The pneumatically-powered sock uses fluid pressure-based technology and fillable chambers to determine sizing prior to ordering. According to the patent [PDF], the chambers are engaged by a “filling station” that adjusts to pressure as needed.

“(The Sock will) Determine if a selected shoe is likely to fit the user without having the actual shoe in his or her possession. The system may comprise a pneumatically-powered inflatable sock (also “sock”) that may be inflated to mimic the internal shape of a selected shoe based on data describing the internal shape of the selected shoe.”

According to eCommerceBytes, eBay left open the possibility of integrating augmented reality into its shoe sizing solution with the use of an augmented application on a mobile phone. The sock could be used to allow a consumer to virtually view an external look of a selected shoe without having the shoe in their possession.

Now, if only we could get an inflatable shirt and pants – we’d never need to leave the house to buy a new wardrobe.

eBay Helps the Shoe Fit with New Inflatable-Sock Patent [eCommerceBytes]