eBay acquires virtual fitting room provider

eBay has acquired PhiSix, a computer graphics company that creates 3-D models of clothing from photos, pattern files and other sources and simulates the behavior of the garments.

PhiSix’s technology allows consumers to see how clothes fit, look and move in different environments without actually having to try them on, and can be used in online and offline environments.

In a blog post, eBay said PhiSix technology may be utilized for omnichannel commerce so users can shop anytime, anywhere, from any device. eBay also said it believes it can integrate the PhiSix technology to power various online and physical store shopping experiences.

“PhiSix’s innovative technology can help solve one of the common problems online shoppers face — fit and look,” said eBay in the blog post. “With a virtual fitting room enabled by PhiSix technology, shoppers can determine fit with physically accurate simulations of the garments. The technology is able to recommend a size for the user’s body based on basic measurement inputs. All of this points to an immersive shopping experience that enables consumers to try on clothes virtually before buying online, which the company believes will reduce returns and enhance the overall shopping experience. PhiSix technology may be utilized for omni-channel commerce so users can shop anytime, anywhere, from any device.

“The technology could also be integrated across the entire eBay Inc. portfolio to enable a more immersive and compelling user experience so consumers can make informed choices whether at home or in a store.”

According to media reports, eBay hopes that PhiSix technology can help reduce the frequency of customer returns, and intends to deploy the solution both in stores and online by the end of 2014.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to bring PhiSix’s expertise to one of the world’s leading commerce platforms,” said Jonathan Su, founder of PhiSix and a former Intel scientist. “We believe today’s acquisition will help us better scale our expertise and meet the needs of digitally-minded shoppers and create new customer experiences for the eBay portfolio.”

Financial terms were not disclosed.



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