Amazon buys Body Labs, a 3D body-scanning tech startup – CNET

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The Amazon Echo Look, with a built-in camera used for fashion advice.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Amazon wants to sell you more stuff. But to do that, it needs to get to know you and your height, weight and fit a little better.

The world’s largest e-retailer on Tuesday acquired the small New York City-based startup  Body Labs for an undisclosed sum, Body Labs confirmed on its website in a short announcement. Amazon declined to comment.

Body Labs specializes in 3D scanning technology of human bodies and movements, which it says it uses to customize fits for e-commerce shopping for clothing and creating augmented-reality based video games.

Both these capabilities appear to offer helpful tools for Amazon in its seemingly unending quest to keep growing. Amazon has been making a big push into clothing, with its own private-label brands and the introduction of its Prime Wardrobe service, which sends customers a box of clothing to try on and return whatever they don’t want. The company this year also introduced the Echo Look device, which offers people fashion advice with the help of a built-in camera and accompanying app.

Using 3D scanning technology, Amazon could more easily offer shoppers clothing, shoes and accessories that fit, helping customers discover more clothes they want and helping Amazon cut down on returns. However, some customers concerned about privacy issues may not want to give this kind of information to Amazon. 

Also, Body Labs’ connection to gaming could prove useful since Amazon owns the gaming video network Twitch.

Body Labs, though, isn’t offering much information on how it will work with Amazon going forward.

“Exciting news! We’ve been acquired by Amazon. We look forward to innovating on behalf of customers,” Body Labs said on its site, adding it couldn’t get into further details and directed inquiries to Amazon’s public relations team.

TechCrunch first reported on the acquisition on Tuesday. Body Labs previously raised $13.2 million in funding, according to Crunchbase.

The deal is a small one for Amazon, particularly this year. Earlier in 2017, Amazon purchased the grocer Whole Foods for $13.7 billion — its biggest acquisition ever — as well as Middle East-based e-commerce company Souq.com for $580 million.

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