eBay Adds Computer Graphics Company PhiSix to 3D Portfolio and Strategy

The eBay the shopping experience – as far as retail is concerned – is about to change dramatically with a new acquisition.

The target was PhiSix fashion laboratories, a computer graphics company that creates 3D models of clothing from photos and patterns to discern appropriate sizes and likely fabric movements.

Here is an example provided by eBay:

These 3D models allow shoppers to use a virtual dressing room to view clothing in various scenarios, such as walking down the street or hitting a golf club, rather than using a changing room.

Overall, the online auction site described the outcome and the pending functionality directed to the digital marketplace as a “virtual fitting room”.

Inappropriate fit and unsatisfactory sizing are the usual culprits of most clothing returns. So eBay hopes that incorporating this technology will help reduce returns in the long run.

The San Jose-based company also hinted in the announcement that PhiSix resources could be implemented elsewhere in eBay’s large portfolio, which includes PayPal and eBay Enterprise, formerly known as GSI Commerce.

CEO Jonathan Su, who founded PhiSix in 2012, and his team of three will all join eBay Inc.’s Innovation and New Ventures team to continue to focus on related developments in retail.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The e-commerce giant slowly draws the curtain on a 3D printing agenda.

Last summer,
eBay Exact debuts as a new mobile app

for customizable 3D printed merchandise that could be designed and sold directly on smartphones.

Around this time, eBay brought in a trio of 3D printers: MakerBot, based in Brooklyn, Sculpteo, based in France, and Hot Pop Factory, based in Toronto, Canada.

To learn more about the eBay / PhiSix merger, watch the promotional video below:

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Don F. Davis

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