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Why Amazon is getting into AR

Patents don’t necessarily mean products, but they can certainly give an indication of the direction a company is taking, or that it wants its customers and/or partners to take. So an Amazon patent published yesterday gives us a little insight into how the e-commerce behemoth thinks augmented reality could boost its business.

The patent, first filed in 2013, is titled “Augmented Reality Presentation,” an entirely anodyne way of saying that Jeff Bezos’s company–which, remember, just spent billions on Whole Foods so that it can build out its brick-and-mortar business–thinks customers could one day use AR to try on clothing or other accessories, like rings or watches. It “describes using product data from an e-commerce website to generate highly realistic augmented reality images of products, including jewelry, glasses, watches, and furniture,” wrote CBInsights about the patent. “The shopper could ‘try on’ the products before buying, which the patent argues could reduce returns (a major expense for many online retailers) and reduce the ‘logistical issues and corresponding costs’ of ‘maintaining a storefront.'”DT