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Amazon exploring the future of sizing with 3D body scanning trial

Body Labs 3D scan
Body Labs 3D scan

Amazon is currently inviting people to have their bodies 3D scanned at its NYC offices, hinting at the e-commerce giant’s future plans of entering the virtual try-on and personalized fit space.

According to The Wall Street Journal, participants are being asked to return every two weeks to have their bodies scanned over the course of 20 weeks. They are also being asked to answer a series of fitness and health questions, and complete an online survey that determines weight-related loss and goals in the past year. The survey reads: “We are interested in understanding how bodies change shape over time.”

The project comes from Amazon’s new 3D body scanning unit, and is assumed to tie to a broader aim of improving the fit of clothing sold online – one of the industry’s greatest challenges. It comes after Amazon paid a reported $100m+ to acquire Body Labs, a startup that creates 3D body models to support B2B software applications, back in October 2017.

At the time TechCrunch reported that Body Labs’ website, which is currently down, demonstrated how its API could be used to “accurately predict and measure the 3D shape of your customers using just a single image”, which in turn could be used to power custom apparel or be used by fashion e-commerce retailers.

Over the past couple of years Amazon has been making aggressive moves towards the fashion category, both from a hardware, service and merchandise perspective.

In April 2017, it released the Echo Look, a device that uses a camera to help users keep track of their outfits and receive style advice. Its try-before-you-buy Prime Wardrobe service, launched last summer, is also now open to consumers beyond the Prime membership and is due to launch imminently.

The retailer has so far developed over 50 in-house apparel labels for women, men and children, showing that there is virtually no corner of the apparel industry that it doesn’t have covered.

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Digital snippets: Apple and Hermès, A/W 15 Rebecca Minkoff in virtual reality, all things tech this #NYFW

Here’s a round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…

applewatchhermes

  • Apple plus Hermès: smart watch dream team or weird mash-up? (as pictured) [NY Times]
  • Apple watch and Hermès: a match made for China [JingDaily]
  • You can now watch the A/W 15 Rebecca Minkoff show via a virtual reality headset [Racked]
  • 10 techy things to look out for this New York Fashion Week [Forbes Life]
  • Farfetch creates an independent business to power brands’ e-commerce sites [Fashionista]
  • Apple executive Ian Rogers is heading to LVMH [WSJ]
  • How Chanel trounces other industry brands on YouTube [Digiday]
  • Brace yourselves, Nike self-lacing shoes might arrive in October [PSFK]
  • Ted Baker on why its Instagram success is down to organic reach not its ad formats [The Drum]
  • How discount retailer Primark has evaded e-commerce [Digiday]
  • Uber to unveil big e-commerce delivery program with retailers this autumn [Re/code]
  • Should fashion companies let social media influence what’s hot and what’s not? [Independent]
  • Periscope is set to make fashion weeks more candid than ever this season [Forbes]
  • Inside fashion’s Instagram wars [BoF]
  • How machine vision is about to change the fashion world [MIT Technology Review]
  • Could 3D body scanning mean never entering another dressing room again? [Quartz]
  • Obama administration to open wearable tech R&D center in Silicon Valley [Fast Company]
  • This is the ‘world’s first’ contactless winter jacket [Wired]
  • Why fashionable millennials are flocking to online brands for wardrobe basics [AdWeek]
  • Thread.com unites fashion and tech for $8m investment [TechCityNews]