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

The deal could help Amazon bolster its foray into fashion and its gaming capabilities.

Ben Fox Rubin Former senior reporter
Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Ben Fox Rubin
2 min read

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. Amazon declined to comment.

Body Labs specializes in 3D scanning technology of human bodies and movements. The company uses the data to customize-fit clothing for online shoppers and to create augmented-reality video games.

Both these capabilities would seem to be helpful 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 what 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. 

Separately, Body Labs' connection to gaming could be useful since Amazon owns gaming video network Twitch.

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

"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 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 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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