Have you ever wished you could try clothes before buying them online? Well, Amazon wants to help you do just that with a new program announced earlier this month.
Let’s back up. Remember Amazon Echo Look, introduced last year? It’s a hands-free camera and, recently, a style assistant. By combining machine-learning and advice from fashion specialists, the Echo Look can choose the best of two outfits based on current trends and what flatters you—nothing too surprising since Amazon has a good amount of information about their customers’ shopping preferences. Around the same time last year, Amazon announced the Amazon Prime Wardrobe, which allows you to try on and returns clothes for free.
However, now it seems Amazon wants to take the next step. In late 2017, Amazon acquired Body Labs for around $50M. The company is currently building up a team to capture “statistical 3D models of human bodies, which it will then match to images and videos of people via deep-learning algorithms and other tactics.”
Amazon will bring volunteers into a New York office to create a 3D body scan using Body Labs’ software, and track these measurements over a 20-week period to understand how the volunteers change shape over time. The goal is to predict for customers how a pair of jeans or a suit will fit when shopping online—a valuable function for people who use the Echo Look as a style assistant.
Even though Amazon is focusing on clothing, there’s another potential area the Body Labs’ solution could help which Amazon hasn’t discussed yet: gaming. Amazon owns a Game Studio, so the use cases are obvious when it comes to 3D body modeling and video games. However, since there’s no word on it, we will see what the company reserves for the future.