This new 3D printer makes objects appear out of nowhere

Image: Illustration: Bob Al-Greene/ Mashable

Amazon has been conducting research that involves digital 3D “scans” of people’s figures in exchange for a $25 Amazon gift card.

The e-commerce giant is currently carrying out the image survey at two different locations in New York City.

Mashable became aware of the research program after a staff member was targeted with an advertisement on Instagram. The ad led to an online form where would-be participants were able to sign up for a 3D body scan session.

A screenshot of the signup page for the Amazon Body Labs imaging study.

Image: amazon/ screenshot

The signup page for the study claims that Amazon takes 3D scans, photos, and videos of analyze participates, both amply clothed and in “form-fitting” swimwear. Height and weight measurements are likewise collected during the session. On the website, Amazon states that the data collected during the study is “exclusively for internal product research” and will not be used in a marketing capacity.

Volunteers then receive a $25 Amazon gift card in exchange for one 30 -minute research session.

The author of this piece signed up for the Amazon body-scanning study and learned that participants were asked to sign an NDA, which in turn requires them to keep everything they experienced or learned during the study confidential.

The company’s body-scanning research is being conducted in conjunction with Body Labs, a 3D imaging corporation that Amazon acquired in 2017.

The startup says its AI technology can create a realistic 3D example of an individual’s body from only an image and also extrapolate features such as wrinkles. Body Labs can even add motion to the frameworks in order to see how certain cloths move and fit.

The company was primarily working with clothing labels on customized apparel before being purchased by Amazon.

The online shopping corporation carried out a similar study with Body Labs in New York last year.

A screenshot of Amazon’s sponsored Facebook ad promoting the study.

Image: facebook/ SCREENSHOT

Recently, Amazon’s footprint has grown in the fashion industry. According to a study from Coresight Research, Amazon is now the most-shopped apparel retailer in “the two countries “. The corporation has its own private label clothing labels and an apparel subscription service .

While Body Labs has largely is cooperating with the fashion industry, it has origins in law enforcement.

In 2002, Virginia state police recruited the help of Brown University computer science professor Michael Black to solve a robbery and slaughter at a 7-Eleven. Black and his students employed “computer vision techniques” to help in the case, substantiating indication such as the culprit’s height. The body framework and data collected to help solve the crime later became the foundation for Body Labs, which Black co-founded in 2013.

Amazon has worked with law enforcement before. Activists and human rights organizations have complained about another of the company’s image-scanning technologies, Rekognition.

The ACLU, in particular, has been a harsh critic of Amazon’s data practices, slamming the company for selling its facial acknowledgment engineering to local police and the FBI. The company also pitched Rekognition to ICE. In testing conducted by the ACLU, the civil liberties organization found that the facial surveillance technology had misidentified a number of members of Congress, particularly people of color.

Amazon is currently promoting the 3D-scanning investigate via its Amazon Body Labs social media accounts. Through sponsored ads, particularly on Instagram and Facebook , Amazon is able to deliver details of the study to a user’s newsfeed while obscure the posts from public panorama on its report pages.

An Amazon spokesperson sent Mashable the following statement when asked for comment on the company’s body scanning study: “We haven’t made any notices about Body Labs, but we’re excited to continue to see that technology develop.”

Of course, are involved in an Amazon body scan study is completely voluntary, and we should note it’s relatively common for companies to conduct this type of consumer research. And someday, this type of 3D searching technology might be so commonplace that people don’t bat an eye at a study like this. But for now, it’s still reasonably unique, and a little strange.

Do “youve had” more information about Amazon and Body Lab’s 3D searching investigate? You can reach the author at matt[ at ] mashable.com .

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