Reflections on a truly incredible week and a glimpse into the future of commerce

Well I think I may have broken a record for my longest streak without a blog post at six days without writing. It was a strange feeling but we did something this week that consumed absolutely every waking minute, meaning that my life had no balance, just one singular focus – it was awesome, and it really feels like we made history.

This week we announced a partnership between Bold Metrics and Morph3D, and unveiled what I think we’ll remember years from now as the first look at the future of commerce. What does all this mean?

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Over the years our technology has emerged as the gold standard for predicting body measurements. We’re helping to create a world where you don’t need to measure yourself, take a selfie, or step into a body scanner. Instead, our AI technology can calculate your body measurements more accurately than you can likely measure yourself, and return a result in milliseconds. All a user has to do is answer a few simple questions like height, weight, etc.

Today we provide solutions for brands and retailers where they want to connect people with products. This can be clothes, furniture, sporting goods, and this week we announced the first application of our technology in augmented and virtual reality with our partnership with Morph3D.

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Morph3D is the world leader in realistic human avatars that are used in AR and VR. With this new partnership the Bold Metrics API is powering nearly instant true-to-life avatar creation which solves a huge problem – creating a real “to-scale” avatar of your body. Why is that important?

While having a virtual you that actually matches your detailed body measurements might not be a requirement for gaming and entertainment, to enable commerce, it’s a must. Imagine a world where we no longer have physical screens, the digital world isn’t flat any more, and instead you can shop in 3D again, just like the real malls but virtual. This experience will likely be powered by virtual or augmented reality, and we think augmented reality will likely have the most interest when it comes to commerce.

Now think about what you do when you buy things relative to the human body today…you go to a store? You sit on the couch, you stand on the bike, you try on the jacket. It’s not hard to envision a world 5 – 10 years from now where incredibly similar experiences can happen, but from the comfort of your own home. In this world having your body actually there in AR or VR will make it possible for the next evolution of commerce. This is incredibly relevant now given the struggle brick-and-mortar retailers are seeing, VR Focus did a nice write-up about that partnership that did a deeper dive here:

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Retails stores in the real world have suffered a slow in sales and profits since online retailers like Amazon began their rise to prominence. Brick-and-mortar stores need an extra incentive to lure customers away from the internet, and Bold Metrics and Morph 3D believe they have found it.

The technology they are introducing allows shoppers to create 3D avatars of themselves.
The Bold Metrics algorithm maps body measurement details onto an avatar, a process that involves no measuring tape or time-consuming 3D scans, only a series of simple questions. The resulting virtual avatar can then be used to experience products and services available in the virtual world. (Source VRFocus)

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We made the announcement at one of the biggest shows in the retail world, ShopTalk, and let this group of retail leaders and innovators be the first to try-out the future of commerce using one of the most cutting-edge AR headsets, the Microsoft Hololens.

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Today Discovery Channel including our partnership in a segment on their popular Canadian TV show, Daily Planet and next week you’ll be able to hear me talking more about this exciting move into the future on NPR. On top of sharing the future of commerce I think we also broke a new record for the number of new client’s that are going to come on-board using our core solutions. Our technology is already  used by some of the worlds largest brands and retailers, in fact you might have even used us before and never even knew it! As a backend technology, we plugin to eCommerce sites and in-store experiences, today we do this in the same way we all access content, on laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets.

In the future we’ll plugin to some of the most immersive and exciting AR and VR experiences and with it power the next generation of commerce. As you can probably tell, I’m more than a little excited and I don’t think it’s just me!

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{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Eugene Fraxby March 23, 2017, 10:30 pm

    Interesting stuff and I hope you make a commercial success of it.

    I hand registered VirtualRecordShop.com (a long time ago now) as a future tech punt (I always have some of those in my portfolio). Glad I kept a hold of this one because as well as VR developments vinyl record buying has also had a resurgence in recent times.

    PS: Apologies for plugging a domain on one of your non-domain blogs but I thought it was relevant!

    Reply
  • Dietmar Stefitz March 24, 2017, 1:30 am

    Congratulations Morgan!
    What an awsome future.

    Reply
  • Luke March 24, 2017, 2:17 am

    Congrats Morgan!

    Reply
  • CasinosVR March 24, 2017, 5:05 am

    Congratulation Morgan,
    you are aways follow new tech. VR and AR becomes king in different areas like shopping, games, gambling, adult and even insurance…
    Good Luck

    Reply
  • Donna Houseman March 24, 2017, 6:35 am

    If I’m reading this correctly, a person would have to enter their exact weight, height, maybe other simple measurements to generate the avatar? This could then be used to order clothes or a couch to size. Very cool but Hmmm how many people want to see an avatar with their exact weight?? I have terrible vertigo so I’ve stayed away from VR headsets, any improvements in that area with new technology?

    Reply
    • Morgan March 26, 2017, 7:02 pm

      Thanks everyone and great feedback from those who had some critiques to share!

      @Donna – good point! If you are just playing a video game you probably would want to tweak and change your avatar to make it look like the ideal you. However if you’re going to buy clothes or furniture, sporting goods, etc. you’re going to want it to fit your actual body. The good news is, nobody sees your avatar but you when you’re shopping. Just like when you go to a store, you go into a dressing room and try clothes on your body, this is exactly the same, the dressing room is just virtual!

      Reply
  • Dale March 24, 2017, 7:34 am

    Congratulations, look forward to seeing this tech in action. You have had a fair few pivots with this startup and it seemed like you were going nowhere fast but it looks like you might have found your feet. Hate the name though, you were a big brandable name guy yet youre braking some of the biggest rules of branding:
    No Plurals
    does it roll off the tongue
    Short and sweet
    Its none of these, cant believe you picked that name

    Reply
  • Robert Sines March 24, 2017, 11:20 am

    Custom smart clothes – the future of clothing…

    Reply
  • Andrew Rosener March 24, 2017, 4:56 pm

    Man, congrats to you and the team! Kicking ass and taking names. Love to see it. Wow do I wish I had put in my money into that first round!

    Reply
  • Alan Dodd March 24, 2017, 9:24 pm

    Great going! When the going gets tough, the tough get changing their clothes!

    Reply
  • Joe March 25, 2017, 5:05 pm

    Lucky friend Morgan with this new stage http://www.boldmetrics.com/ with https://www.morph3d.com/

    Reply

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