By Christine Kern, contributing writer
Online retail giant has acquired 3D body modeling tech company BodyLabs
Amazon has set its sights on expanding its online offerings by moving into the online apparel marketplace over the past couple of years. n 2016, the online retail giant announced that it was preparing to launch its own clothing line in order to break into the fashion business in a serious way, as Retail IT Insights reported. And just last spring, Amazon added an “Outfit Compare” feature to its shopping app, giving consumers access to fashion advice online.
Now, Amazon has acquired Body Labs, a developer of 3D body modeling technology for an estimated price of at least $50 million, according to TechCrunch. Some estimates put Body Lab's price tag as high as $100 million, according to the report. Body Labs also confirmed the acquisition with a brief statement on its website that deferred to Amazon for further information.
BodyLabs uses artificial intelligence technology that understands the 3D body shape and motion of people from photos or videos to create true-to-life 3D body models that yield a more accurate fit, according to TechCrunch.
BodyLabs also says its “SOMA Shape API” can be used to “accurately predict and measure the 3D shape of your customers using just a single image”, suggesting this can power “custom apparel” or be used by fashion ecommerce retailers wanting to offer sizing recommendations.
The technology could prove valuable to Amazon’s fashion business, allowing them to offer custom fit, even as improving sizing predictions generally for Amazon shoppers could help drive clothes shopping across its platform and help shrink returns from clothes that don’t fit.
Recently, Amazon Prime introduced a new perk to members: a free try-before-you-buy clothing service called Amazon Wardrobe, which provides free returns. The Body Labs tech could make this service more profitable by reducing the number of returned items for improper fit.