From the company that brought you a smart home system that maniacally laughs at you and people literally entering your home to drop off packages, comes the latest in terrifying privacy invasion: Amazon wants to take a 3D scan of your body. The idea is that a 3D scan of your entire person will make it impossible to ever buy the wrong-sized clothing online again.
Last week it was reported that Amazon will be conducting research on the way bodies change shape over time so that they can accurately predict how an item of clothing will fit a human being without them having to try it on. This is going to revolutionize online shopping, people. And that’s the whole idea.
The company is reportedly recruiting volunteers to participate in a 20-week study at their New York offices which will take 3D scans of participants’ bodies twice a month. The study would use a 3D body-scanning unit developed by the New York start-up, Body Labs, which was purchased by Amazon last fall. The company is one of many trying to figure out how to predict the way clothing will fit different bodies without them having to hit the change room. The possibilities after that technology is perfected are endless, from cutting down on returned items, to printing out custom-fit pieces. Of course Amazon is on the cutting edge of that kind of revolution.
According to reporting from The Wall Street Journal, the initial scans from the study will be used to create a database of sorts that will then match the 3D renderings to images and videos of customers through complex algorithms to create the perfect fit.
Amazon has said they cannot comment on speculation, but that just leaves us with more questions. Are they trying to gauge public reaction to the invasiveness a full body scan? Is the rollout of a service like this so far away, they don’t want to get people all hyped up now? Are the robots taking over and trying to keep this hush-hush?
Invasion of privacy aside, how can a computer truly predict the exact measurements of a human body on any given moment when people’s weights fluctuate week to week or even day to day?
Also, how do we know that Amazon is not using this 3D body information to create clones? Or robot versions of humans? Isn’t this the premise of Blade Runner?
We need answers, Amazon.