Apr. 14, 2015 | By Simon

It was less than two years ago when Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said that 3D printing and scanning technologies were “super interesting, but not a threat” to his empire.  While that still may hold true considering the vast amount of goods available on Amazon, it has appeared that Bezos and his executive team at Amazon have slowly opened up to 3D technologies over the past year.  Among other things, the company has opened up an entire storefront for 3D printing as well as have been making developments towards having an “on-demand 3D printing” platform.  

Now, it appears that they’re getting even more friendly with adding various 3D technologies as it was just announced that the company has acquired Shoefitr; a company that was born out of and utilizes 3D technology to aid online shoppers in finding the right fit for footwear that is purchased online.  

According to some sources, the 3D technology company will uproot from their Pittsburgh- based headquarters and join the rest of the Amazon team at the company’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington near other tech companies including Microsoft.     

Shoefitr was started by CEO Matthew Wilkinson along with co-founders Nick End and Breck Fresen during their time at Carnegie Mellon University.  While the company originally wanted to set out to make custom-made shoes, they have since become a shoe-fitting service that works with existing shoe brands including Brooks, New Balance, Puma and Toms, among others.

The company uses 3D scanners to to scan the interior of shoes - they have a very large database of many shoes and shoe styles - and the scan data is then used to determine the fit of a future pair of shoes based on an online customer’s fit data.  For example, if somebody wanted to purchase a new pair of dress shoes they could input their shoe data from the pair of running shoes that they were currently wearing and the Shoefitr engine will automatically pair them up with the proper-sized shoe regardless of pre-existing size, country or origin or brand (all of which can be factors that affect the final fit of a shoe).   

Although both companies are yet to confirm the acquisition, if confirmed, it will be the second-largest acquisition of a footwear industry-based brand for the US-based e-commerce giant.  The company previously acquired Zappos in 2009 for $850 million.  Surely, the acquisition of Shoefitr will likely affect how online shoppers purchase shoes through the online retail giant in the not-too-distant future.  

Of course, all of this is thanks to the wonders of 3D technologies.   



Posted in 3D Scanning


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