Ebay has acquired PhiSix Fashion Labs, a computer graphics startup that makes 3D models of clothing, in a bid to offer customers a virtual fitting room.
The e-commerce giant is like its peers trying to grow its share of online apparel purchases. Research firm eMarketer has forecast that online retail sales in the U.S. of apparel and accessories will rise to $88 billion by 2016, almost as much as the largest online retail category consisting of computers and consumer electronics, up from $54 billion in 2013.
PhiSix's technology can be used both online and offline to allow consumers to see how clothes fit, look and move in different environments without actually having to try them on, the e-commerce company said in a blog post.
Virtual fitting rooms in some forms have been tried before and did not meet the preference of many users to physically try the clothes.
The 3D models will offer shoppers a virtual fitting room where they can view the clothes in a variety of scenarios ranging from walking down the street to hitting a golf club, eBay said Wednesday.
Ebay said the PhiSix technology can be used for omni-channel commerce so users can shop from any online device.
The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Ebay said it could integrate PhiSix technology across its product portfolio.
PhiSix founder Jonathan Su and his three-person team will join eBay's Innovation and New Ventures group to focus on ways to transform retail, eBay said.