eBay Inc. acquires PhiSix
Today, eBay Inc. announced it has acquired PhiSix, a computer graphics company that creates 3D models of clothing from photos, pattern files and other sources and simulates the behavior of the garments. PhiSix’s technology has exciting possibilities – both online and offline – as it allows consumers to see how clothes fit, look and move in different environments without actually having to try them on. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“PhiSix’s technology enables consumers to understand the fit and movement of clothes in an online shopping environment,” said Steve Yankovich, vice president of Innovation and New Ventures of eBay Inc. “Consumers can experience the merchandise in a more efficient and impactful way, which we believe will drive sales for retailers and create a delightful experience for shoppers.”
PhiSix’s innovative technology can help solve one of the common problems online shoppers face – fit and look. With a virtual fitting room enabled by PhiSix technology, shoppers can determine fit with physically accurate simulations of the garments. The technology is able to recommend a size for the user’s body based on basic measurement inputs. All of this points to an immersive shopping experience that enables consumers to try on clothes virtually before buying online, which the company believes will reduce returns and enhance the overall shopping experience. PhiSix technology may be utilized for omni-channel commerce so users can shop anytime, anywhere, from any device.
The technology could also be integrated across the entire eBay Inc. portfolio to enable a more immersive and compelling user experience so consumers can make informed choices whether at home or in a store.
The in-store experience is equally compelling. These 3D models allow shoppers to use a virtual fitting room to view the clothes in various scenarios – such as walking down the street or hitting a golf club, rather than using a dressing room. eBay Inc. believes it can integrate the PhiSix technology to power various online and physical store shopping experiences.
PhiSix was co-founded in 2012 by Jonathan Su, Jatin Chhugani and Mihir Naware. Su, a former Intel research scientist who received his PhD in computer science from Stanford University, has a background in special effects, and has contributed towards the simulation technologies being used today by major Hollywood companies like ILM and DreamWorks to create scenes with life-like behavior and movement. Chhugani received his PhD in computer science from Johns Hopkins University in the field of interactive computer graphics, and was formerly a Sr. Research Scientist at Intel Labs, where he was a finalist for the prestigious Gordon Bell Award for high-performance computing. Naware, an MBA from Kellogg School of Management and former strategy consultant with Booz & Company, led the company's product marketing, strategy and business development. The PhiSix team will all be joining eBay Inc.'s Innovation and New Ventures team as part of the acquisition and continue working on ways to transform retail.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us to bring PhiSix’s expertise to one of the world’s leading commerce platforms,” said Su. “We believe today’s acquisition will help us better scale our expertise and meet the needs of digitally-minded shoppers and create new customer experiences for the eBay Inc. portfolio.”
The PhiSix Team