It is evident technology giants are desperate to gain new insights into their consumers. Whether it is on the emotional level or on a physical level, the thirst for more sensitive information seems insatiable. For Amazon, its newest venture will undoubtedly spark a lot of heated debates. At this time, the company wants to 3D-scan human’s bodies in exchange for a $25 gift card.
Another Unusual Amazon Venture Arises
It has been a very interesting week for Amazon, although not necessarily for the right reasons. The company is exploring many new business models, albeit most of them will raise a lot of questions. Earlier this week, it became apparent Amazon is filing a patent to build a new wearable device which will analyze customer emotions. While that product has not been confirmed to become a commercial venture just yet, one has to wonder how the company would handle all of that data.
Putting those concerns aside for a minute, it would appear the most recent development involving the e-commerce giant will raise even more questions. It appears the company – through its subsidiary Amazon Body Labs – is in the process of conducting a rather interesting experiment. The current objective is to have as many volunteers as possible have their 3D-scan taken in exchange for a minor financial compensation.
For those unfamiliar with Amazon Body labs, the company specializes in creating 3D models. Those models are then used for gaming and shopping purposes, albeit the exact business model remains somewhat unclear. While it seems plausible to assume the volunteers’ data will be collected for similar purposes, the company has neither confirmed nor denied that to be the case.
According to an Amazon Body Labs representative, the information will be used for “internal product research”. When asked about potential marketing purposes, the answer was negative. As is always the case, that latter part needs to be taken with a few grains of salt. It seems highly unlikely voluntary 3D scans will not be used for some marketing purposes down the line.
The official reason for conducting this experiment is to “learn about diversity among body shapes”. A very odd statement, considering this information could be gathered in many different ways. Even so, Amazon Body Labs wants to measure volunteers and take their weight. Afterward, they will take the full 3D scan, photos, and record video material. Amazon also plans to give the volunteers form-fitting clothing before taking the second set of 3D scans, photos, and videos.
Albeit this experiment seems very innocent on the surface, everyone who participates is getting paid for their time. Participants will receive a $25 Amazon.com gift card. As such, it seems likely Amazon Body Labs will be able to link the 3D scans to exact user profiles on the website. This only reinforces the idea of how all of this data will be used for marketing purposes of some sort. Another option is how the e-commerce giant hopes to improve its smart products through this information. The voluntary study will run in New York City until June 30.
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