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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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Michael Kors launches smartwatch-focused chatbot

Michael Kors introduces chatbot to smartwatches, tech, fashion tech, smart technology, chatbots
Michael Kors introduces chatbot to support smartwatches

Michel Kors has launched a chatbot on Facebook Messenger and Google Assistant, designed to support its Access Sofie smartwatch for women.

The bot aims to teach users about the smartwatch’s features and functionalities, guiding new owners on the set-up process of their device when they first purchase, enabling them to get the most out of it thereafter.

It also provides style inspiration curated from user-generated content and shopping information about items to buy within the experience, including interchangeable bands for the watches. That is done within the Facebook Messenger feed, or via a voice-activated option available through the Google Assistant.

Should the user need help, the bot is also equipped with FAQ support and the ability to hand users off to a human customer service representative when the moment arises.

The chatbot is also available for non-watch owners, enabling them to explore the different Sofie smartwatch styles, then inviting them to either make a purchase on the spot or head to their nearest Michael Kors location.

This sort of move for chatbots as a key part of customer service is becoming increasingly commonplace among brands and retailers. Part of the reason, beyond the marketing drive it has facilitated initially, is the scale it enables. As the technology itself improves, this is only going to get smarter.

Across verticals, there are now more than 100,000 bots on the Facebook Messenger platform, all of which have the potential to reach the platform’s 1.3 billion users.

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Burberry personalising new collection with embedded digital content

This article first appeared on Mashable

Burberry_Smart_Personalization

Personalisation just got a whole lot smarter thanks to a new initiative from Burberry, which is launching as part of its London Fashion Week show on Monday.

The British heritage brand is embedding digital chips that will unlock bespoke content in its new season’s coats and bags in a bid to entice consumers to pre-order them immediately after they hit the catwalk.

The chips will activate short films (as demonstrated below) to bring the product in question to life, telling the story of its creation, from sketches to runway edits. They will also show video of the customer’s name being engraved on metal nameplates — also new this season — that are stitched into the lining of the coats and bags.

Users will be able to see the videos when their items are put in contact with smartphone or tablet devices logged into Burberry.com thanks to a new technology the company will reveal more information about at the delivery date (expected within nine weeks). For consumers in London who are able to visit the brand’s digitally integrated Regent Street flagship store, the same chips will prompt the videos to appear on its large-scale mirrors, which turn into screens.

While this “Smart Personalisation” concept demonstrates how technology can benefit Burberry shoppers, the brand also has plans to connect with its broader fanbase using social media. On the day after the show, Burberry will invite followers to tweet with the hashtag #madefor, so they can receive personalized images of their own bespoke nameplate, for example.

The show will also be live-streamed within Burberry’s Twitter feed for the first time, as well as online and in the Regent Street store. Additional access will be provided through two Instagram accounts: @Burberry will share images from backstage, the red carpet and the runway, while @Burberry_Live will take more detailed images of the collection to feed into Burberry.com’s dashboard.

Where Topshop launched a model cam for its show on Sunday, Burberry is also promoting backstage interaction with its models. The “Burberry Beauty Booth” will share images taken by models with the brand’s followers in real-time, when they tweet with the #BeautyBooth hashtag.