Wouldn’t it be useful to have a three-dimensional avatar that’s shaped like you that you could use for online clothes shopping or for video games? We don’t know what Amazon had in mind when it acquired a company that creates 3D models of human bodies for a variety of applications, but it probably involves the mega-retailer’s fashion ambitions.
Body Labs has taken down its website since the acquisition was announced, but the company creates 3D models of people based on measurements, full body scans, or two-dimensional photographs. It’s that last one that will be the easiest to deploy on millions of customers: Imagine a digital mannequin of you that can try on clothes while you sit around in your ill-fitting pajamas.
It’s the project for creating images of bodies from photos, a project called Soma, that might be the most useful for Amazon, especially if it’s able to sell its Echo Look closet camera to a meaningful number of customers. The software could combine everyday outfit pictures with information about how products from the Amazon Wardrobe try-on program fit to find items of clothing that fit customers eve better.
Amazon also has its own clothing lines, and analyzing customer photos could let the retailer learn the actual sizes of its customers and adjust its patterns and size selections accordingly.
TechCrunch also observes that another possible use is in the games that Amazon produces, since Amazon owns video game studios now, too. 3D models of customers would mean very accurate avatars for games. Maybe too accurate.